The young stabbing survivor of a twisted plot in the woods of Wisconsin "is a fighter and is improving each and every day," her parents said in a statement on Thursday.
"Our little girl is a fighter," the parents of the 12-year-old girl who was stabbed nearly to death 19 times on Saturday in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, said. "We appreciate your patience, love and support, as we too are stunned and saddened by this tragedy."
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
They also asked for the girl's anonymity and for their family's privacy to be honored. Their statement came a day after a hospital spokesperson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the girl's condition had been upgraded from critical but stable to fair.
Investigators say the victim was lured into the woods by two friends, also 12 years old, under the guise of a game of hide-and-seek before she was stabbed on her arms, legs and torso and left for dead by the two other girls. One of her stab wounds was a millimeter away from a major artery in her heart.
Her alleged attackers, who purportedly were trying to please an online demonic creature called "Slender Man" with their plot to kill her, have been charged with attempted murder.
On Thursday, the victim's family launched an online fundraising campaign to help cover medical and legal expenses and asked supporters to make hearts cut from paper, fabric and felted wool "that are purple in color and infused with prayers, love and light. The hearts will blanket the walls of the girl's room to remind her that the power of love is greater than all else."
More than $14,000 had already been raised as of Thursday afternoon. A Facebook page where messages of encouragement could be left was also created.
The two girls charged in the case, also of Waukesha, told investigators they had been planning for months on killing their friend to please Slender Man, a character they learned about on a horror website, a criminal complaint says.