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A teenage survivor of the deadly shooting at an Oregon community college remains in critical condition one week after being shot in the head and possibly four more times, hospital officials said Thursday.
Julie Woodworth, 19, suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the rampage at Umpqua Community College last Thursday in Roseburg. The shooting left ten people dead including the gunman, and injured nine others, including Woodworth.
Woodworth was shot in the head and possibly four more times, once in each arm and leg, according to surgeons at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, where she was treated.
“Thus far she’s made a very incredible recovery,” neurosurgeon Dr. Neil Roundy said at a news conference Thursday evening. “She’s been very strong and she’s fought very hard to get to where she’s at.”
Roundy said that Woodworth arrived to the medical center last Thursday suffering from several gunshot wounds, the most severe of which was a gunshot wound that entered through the back of the left side of her head before exiting through the front of her head.
After a series of procedures to relieve the pressure on her head, Roundy said “we’re happy to say she’s out of the woods as far as major swelling goes.”
The surgeon said Woodworth is now breathing on her own and is awake and able to look around the room. But the teen is not able to talk or interact with others yet and doctors stressed she “has a long road to recovery ahead of her.”
Dr. Travis Littman, a trauma surgeon at the medical center, said recovery for such extensive injuries could take months to years. Because of the current level of swelling in her brain, it was too soon to tell whether her speech or motor skills would be permanently affected, he added.
“Ultimately, we really just don’t know,” he said, adding there is a “very high potential” Woodworth may have to learn to walk and speak all over again.
Roundy said Woodworth’s family remains by her side.
“They’ve been very encouraged with the events of the last couple of the days and the improvement that she’s had,” he said.
Authorities say Christopher Harper Mercer, 26, opened fire inside a UCC classroom before killing himself during an exchange of gunfire with officers on the scene.