The 13-year-old girl injured in a shooting last month at an Indiana middle school more than a week ago was shot seven times, her family has disclosed.
The Indianapolis Star reports that the family of Ella Whistler has released a statement that provides new details about the injuries she sustained in the May 25 shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville.
A classmate of Ella allegedly opened fire with two handguns in a science classroom. Teacher Jason Seaman also was wounded, but has since been released.
Ella was shot in the face, neck, hand and upper chest area, according to the family's statement. Her injuries included collapsed lungs; a broken jaw, clavicle, multiple neck vertebrae and ribs; severed vertebral vein; and significant nerve damage. Immediately after the shooting, she was airlifted to a hospital where she underwent "emergency, life-saving surgery."
Her family says Ella is making progress, but has a long road to recovery and will remain hospitalized for the foreseeable future.
"She hopes to eventually return to her favorite activities of volleyball, cheerleading, and show choir," the statement says.
Authorities have not released information about the shooting suspect, who appeared in court last week. The juvenile detention hearing was closed to the public.
The Whistler family's statement:
Ella and her family deeply appreciate the outpouring of support, concern, and prayers from friends, family, and the community. Ella suffered very serious, life-threatening injuries from being shot 7 times in the face, neck, hand, and upper chest area. She underwent emergency, life-saving surgery after being airlifted to Riley, and her injuries include collapsed lungs; a broken jaw, clavicle, multiple neck vertebras, and ribs; a severed vertebral vein; significant nerve damage; and numerous related injuries.
Ella’s parents are proud of her incredible bravery and strength in facing this unspeakable tragedy. Ella’s current condition is stable. She continues to make progress but faces a long road to recovery. She will remain an inpatient at Riley Hospital for the foreseeable future, where she is receiving exceptional care from her medical team. She hopes to eventually return to her favorite activities of volleyball, cheerleading, and show choir.
If you would like to show your support for Ella, you can post words of encouragement or make donations at https://www.gofundme.com/ella-whistler to help with the enormous medical and other expenses caused by Ella’s injuries.
Ella and her family respectfully request privacy at this difficult time so they can focus on Ella’s treatment and recovery.