Doctors say 15-year-old shooting survivor is a brave young woman - KPTV - FOX 12

Doctors say 15-year-old mall shooting survivor is a 'brave young woman'

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A 15-year-old girl's bravery has doctors optimistic about her recovery after she suffered significant lung and liver damage in Tuesday's shooting at the Clackamas Town Center.

Kristina Shevchenko, 15, remains at Oregon Health & Science University in serious condition Wednesday.

She was shot in the chest by Jacob Roberts at the mall Tuesday before he turned the gun on himself. Two people, Steve Forsyth and Cindy Yuille, were killed in the shooting.

Dr. Laszlo Kiraly updated her condition from the hospital Wednesday. He said she was awake when she arrived at OHSU, but was confused and shocked.

Kristina underwent a successful operation overnight to treat her wounds and to rule out any further injuries. She was in stable condition through the night in the intensive care unit.

"What she had to do to get out of that situation it's clear to me she's a very brave young woman," Kiraly said.

The family released a statement thanking everyone from police and mall workers to the OHSU staff for helping Kristina. The girl informed her family that the first person she wanted to thank was a friend and classmate at Clackamas Middle School named Alyona.

Her family said Alyona immediately called 911 and remained by Kristina's side until emergency crews arrived.

Kristina suffered a collapsed lung, damaged liver and had shrapnel removed during surgery, according to Kiraly. He described most of her injuries as being the result of a "blast effect" from a high-velocity weapon.

Investigators said Roberts shot her with an AR-15 rifle.

"With weapons like this there can be destruction that continues and we'll reassess that tomorrow," Kiraly said.

Doctors said she is awake today and talking to her family. She has not yet walked, however. Kiraly hesitated putting a timeline on her recovery, saying she faces significant rehabilitation and is still at risk for complications and infection.

"I was just really impressed with her spirit and character," said Kiraly.

The family has created a Facebook page for people to leave comments for Kristina. Anyone wishing to contribute to her medical expenses can text the word "SUPPORT" to 28594.

Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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