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Shooting survivor Deserae Turner shares message of hope, looks ahead to graduation

Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 00:21:15-04

CACHE COUNTY- Life is different these days as we deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic. For many people, their world feels flipped upside down. 17-year-old shooting survivor Deserae Turner knows all about life-changing in an instant.

“This is the biggest thing that’s happened in some people’s lives and it’s really flipped their world upside down. And they are really having a hard time handling it. And I can say, I know how that is and your feeling and emotions are completely natural,” she said.

The now high school senior was shot in the head and left for dead in a canal in Smithfield in Feb. 2017.

Since that horrible day, Turner has inspired many with her positive attitude and her fight to have the best life possible. She never gave up, despite all the missed school from the shooting, surgeries and side effects that have followed, Turner will graduate on time.

“I am excited to show off, like, guys I did this. I did all of this in about a couple years,” she said.

While she isn’t sure what graduation will look like, she is just focused on this major accomplishment.

“I might still be able to walk, which I am excited about. But if not, at least I can still say that I graduated,” she said.

It was a wonderful senior year, Turner said. She was crowned Homecoming Queen and was able to attend prom with one of her best friends.

While Turner continues to focus on the good, she admits the Covid-19 Pandemic has made things harder for her.

“It’s harder. Like, I don’t have a person who went to school for this to stretch out my hand properly, or tell me I’m not doing the exercise right,” she said.

It’s even slowing down the process for her new life-changing device. Her family is raising money for a robotic left arm prosthesis and a three-week neurorehabilitation clinic visit. The idea of being able to do simple things like make dinner again has Deserae excited.

“I’m doing some of the work, and then it [the prosthesis] is doing some of the work, and together we will have a full functioning arm,” she said in a previous interview with FOX13 News.

While we all wait patiently for life to go back to the way it once was, Turner reminds everyone to think of people like her, who’s life is forever changed.

“And when they go back to normal, they can realize that some people like me, who have an injury or illness, know that our lives will never go back to normal. We live our days by day,” she said.

If you would like to help Deserae Turner raise money for her robotic left arm prosthesis, her family is selling t-shirts, hoodies & zip up sweatshirts.

For local pick up, click here.

For shipping, click here.

You can also donate through Venmo or GoFundMe.