According to doctors at Hershey Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and various other regional hospitals in and around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, none of the five wounded girls who were victims of the October 2nd shooting at the West Nickel Mines School in Bart Township/Paradise were expected to live. Yet, miraculously, it appears that all of them will … although two of the five will most likely be permanently disabled.
I, personally, have been sent checks and money orders, totaling in excess of $2,200, by friends and acquaintances in six different states, with accompanying notes saying that they don’t know where best to send a donation, and asking that I forward the money in their behalf to the fund that I believe will use it best.
If you multiply that by the probably countless other similar examples, the outpouring of love and concern throughout the world in support of the families involved in this tragedy has been monumental … and indescribably touching.
And the courage, and will to live, demonstrated by the five young girls who did not immediately succumb to their injuries has been nothing short of miraculous.
Not to mention the abundant love and grace of God, that has been apparent every day of the fifty days that have passed since the tragedy … which should be sufficient to encourage careful reflection on 1 Thessalonians 5:18: In everything give thanks! The Amish community does so each and every day, and they portray that joy-filled lesson through personal, faith-inspired example. What better lesson for the rest of us to take to heart as Thanksgiving approaches?
Below are excerpts from an article by Brett Hambright, which appeared in today’s Lancaster Intelligencer Journal:
As worldwide donations for victims of the West Nickel Mines School shootings approach $4 million, three of the girls wounded in the Oct. 2 attack have returned to classes.
Two other girls who survived the shootings suffered severe head wounds and are likely to have long-term disabilities. One is home while the other remains hospitalized, a spokesman for the Nickel Mines Accountability Committee said Monday ...
... Five classmates of the wounded girls were killed after Charles Carl Roberts IV stormed their one-room schoolhouse in Bart Township. Roberts shot all 10 of the girls before killing himself.
The schoolhouse was razed 10 days later, and classes were moved to a building on a nearby farm.
One girl who sustained shoulder, hand and leg injuries is attending school full time ... Two others with lung, abdominal, facial and leg injuries also are back full time, aside from time away for daily physical therapy treatment ...
One girl remains at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and ‘is recovering more than expected. She has some ability to communicate’ ...
... Another girl is home but semi-comatose. Those who have visited her [say] she ‘miraculously survived.’
Several funds were established for the victims’ families, which may eventually face massive medical bills. The money also will be used for counseling services, transportation costs and construction costs for a new school, which is expected to be built in the upcoming months.
For the time being, hospitals have waived the majority of medical costs. The families are waiting for these institutions to say they need to start paying ... but some institutions have indicated they can continue covering expenses.
$3.2 million has been raised by fundraising programs.
That figure does not include Capital Blue Cross’ pledge of $500,000 for medical expenses. It also does not account for other smaller funds, [according to the] Mennonite Central Committee.
MCC and three other agencies with local offices — Anabaptist Foundation, Mennonite Disaster Services and Coatesville Savings Bank — have collected most of the funds being overseen by the Nickel Mines Accountability Committee.
The public continues to donate ... it is a daily occurrence, with donations cresting immediately after the funds were established, but there remains a fairly steady stream of contributions.