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Maddy Wilford makes a statement about her recovery from the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day. (WPEC)

Stoneman Douglas victim says 'I'm grateful to be here' after school shooting




DEERFIELD, Fla. (WPEC) - A basketball player for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shared her story of survival and hope after the school shooting, at a news conference on Monday.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office says Nikolas Cruz, 19, shot Maddy Wilford several times and killed 17 people on Feb. 14.

Wilford spent more than a week undergoing multiple surgeries at Broward Health North Medical Center in Deerfield Beach after the shooting in Parkland on Valentine's Day.

One of the trauma doctors at Broward North said Maddy was shot three times and had three different surgeries in a 40-hour time span.

A lieutenant with Coral Springs Fire Rescue said, at first sight, Maddy appeared to be deceased.

"She had a pretty bad injury to her right elbow, and was in de-compensated shock," said the CSFR lieutenant. "We revitalized her in the back, and when we got to Broward North I've never seen so many doctors."

The lieutenant said he tried to elicit a response from Maddy and asked her how old she was. She didn't respond at first. After asking a second time, she said, "17."

The CSFR crew decided to take Maddy to Broward North, over Broward Regional, a decision the doctors say saved her life.

Broward Regional is 30 miles away from Stoneman Douglas High School, while Broward North is 10 miles.

Maddy's father said he feels overwhelmingly grateful for the first responders and staff of Broward North. Wilford also says that he feels like a miracle happened to his daughter.

Maddy agrees with her father and says she feels grateful to be here and it would not be possible without the help of the officers or first responders.

Missy Wilford, Maddy's mother, said she could spend an hour talking about the strength of her daughter. Missy also says Maddy wants to heal, and she wants to get better.

The doctors at Broward North said Maddy spent seven days hospitalized. She has made a full recovery in her chest and abdomen.

According to the trauma doctors, Maddy will need to do physical therapy for her arm in the weeks to come, but they see no reason why she would not be able to go to school next week.

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