BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — About 1.5 years after gunfire nearly took her life, Abbie Kopf returned to public school.
Abbie, now 15, will attend Harper Creek High School for two to three hours a day, according to her mother. The teenager hopes to take classes five days a week.
Abbie won’t be alone. During the beginning of the year, she will have a personal assistant with her at all times to ensure she has all the support she needs, her family says.
She will be taking a history class and a math class that also includes a variety of other subjects and time for her to catch up on other homework and studies, her mother Vickie Kopf said.
After her first day, Vickie Kopf said it went “okay.”
“She’s worried about if something happens,” she said. “Are they going to be able to do what I would normally do?”
Abbie’s mother said it is a big deal for Abbie to go back to school because she gets to be with her friends and live more of a normal life. At the beginning, she will go to school for just a few hours a day as many days as she can go.
“We’re aiming for three days a week, but Abbie’s wanting to go as much as she can,” Vickie Kopf said. “So depending on how her stamina is and how her headaches are, we’re going to try to do five days a week for the two or three hours.”
She has been struggling with severe headaches daily, but is hoping new medication will help with problems.
“I’m used to being with her 24 hours a day, and it’s breaking my heart that I have to drop her off somewhere and leave her,” she said. “That’s something I have to deal with, and trusting my daughter with other people is something I cannot do.”
Abbie was one of two survivors of the Feb. 20, 2016 shooting rampage in and around Kalamazoo. Six other victims lost their lives, including family friend Barbara Hawthorne, who died after telling paramedics to focus on Abbie first.
Since then, Abbie has been through multiple surgeries, including two to insert a plate to replace a part of her skull that was shattered by a bullet.
Abbie’s mother says her daughter’s been suffering severe headaches almost daily, but she hasn’t had any recent seizures.
“Abbie is tough, she fought a bullet,” she said. “She will go full head-on and she will accomplish whatever she wants, but she’s got to fight for what she wants.”