Mayah Zamora, a 10-year-old who was critically injured in the deadly school shooting in Uvalde in May, was discharged from the hospital on Friday, 66 days after she was first admitted.
Since then, Mayah has undergone a series of surgeries and treatment. Her family said in a GoFundMe on June 10 that she was facing a "long road to recovery," including future hospital visits, as well as mental health and trauma treatment.
Her brother, Ruben Zamora, posted on Facebook in early July that she had started physical therapy, and it was unclear at the time how long she would have to stay at the hospital.
"It can be as long as another month+ , or as short as 2 weeks. We will just have to see how much my sister can progress," he wrote. "But I’ll tell you what she is strong, she is determined, she is stubborn, she is hard headed- and on top of all that.. she wants to get out of that hospital. She has surprised the doctors so much, and she’s gunning for more."
On Friday, Mayah walked out of the building to cheers as she handed flowers to hospital staff. She was the last patient injured in the Uvalde shooting to be discharged from a hospital.
The Uvalde shooting is the second-deadliest school shooting in US history, after Sandy Hook in 2012.
Children who survived the Robb Elementary shooting have recounted playing dead during the rampage as they watched their friends and teachers die. In the days and weeks after the shooting, the families of the survivors raised money to pay for medical and therapy costs.
Gun violence is a uniquely American problem, one that takes a heavy toll on children. It is labeled a public health crisis by the American Public Health Association and is a leading cause of premature death in the country, responsible for more than 38,000 deaths annually. Even in shootings where a victim survives, the economic and psychological impacts are huge; more than 100 people — from doctors to social workers — may be involved in their care.
The latest available data from the CDC shows that firearm-related injuries are now also the top cause of death for children and adolescents in the US. Gun violence can impact brain development and cause long- and short-term mental health issues. In the aftermath of Uvalde, victims of the Sandy Hook shooting described how they still have panic attacks and other impacts from the shooting they survived as children.
The Uvalde school shooting came on the heels of a string of mass shootings across the country. As of July 31, at least 25,779 people have died from gun violence this year, 986 of them 17 years or younger, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.