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Kalamazoo Shooting Victim Abigail Kopf Talks About 'Frustrating' Recovery Process

by Kevin Tibbles and Elisha Fieldstadt /  / Updated 
Abigail Kopf, 14, returned home after after she was shot in the head during a rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan and spent two months in the hospital.NBC News

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The Michigan teen shot in the head during a rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan, admitted that her recovery process has often been "frustrating," but something has her feeling much brighter now — she's home from the hospital after two months.

Abigail Kopf, 14, told NBC News on Friday that she can't stop smiling because "I'm happy. I'm home."

Abigail noted though that one person who used to be a mainstay at her house wasn't there anymore — her grandma Barb, who was killed in the rampage.

Barbara Hawthorne, 68, was among six people killed in the shooting spree across Kalamazoo Feb. 20. Tiana Carruthers, 25, was also shot and survived.

Jason Brian Dalton, a 45-year-old Uber driver, is charged in the shootings.

Abigail was so critically injured that doctors didn’t think she’d make it.

Abigail Kopf, 14, the "miracle" Michigan teenager who was shot in the head during a gunman's rampage exactly two months ago returned home Wednesday from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.Anthony J. Norkus / Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital

Facing the death of her Grandma Barb has been a struggle, Abigail said, and so was rehabilitation.

"I had to learn how to talk again, how to eat again, how to walk again," Abigail said, calling the process "frustrating."

But Abigail will now continue her recovery at home, and she will likely be able to return to school part-time next year, which is good because Abigail has big plans.

"I want to be a marine biologist," she said. "Because I love animals."

Her parents are stunned with the progress the teen has made.

"To have her hurt the way she was, and the type of violence that was and to see what I saw the first night and being told to say goodbye to her because she wasn't going to make it ... and then to see her now and I hear her — it is truly amazing," said Abigail's mother, Vicki Kopf.

"She's one strong kid,” Kopf said.

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