HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Six months after the deadly mass shooting at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, the wounds of the tragic day remain.
For one Highland Park mother, every day is a reminder of the horrific incident that she says continues to haunt her physically and emotionally.
“I had a bullet go through me, through my pelvis, and bounce around like a ping pong ball,” said shooting victim Liz Turnipseed.
Describing her grueling recovery with WGN News, the 41-year-old said she was in “wound care management. I had a nurse coming in the house three days a week; a physical therapist two days a week.”
Countless doctor visits later, the Highland Park resident was able to return to the place where she was shot to pay her respects to the victims.
“That started in September,” she said. “Sounds kind of cheesy, but I’d have a little conversation with the people we lost and let them know what is going on and how everybody is doing.”
But Turnipseed adds that she cannot erase that day’s terrible memories.
“Right after I was shot, I was laying on the ground and trying to move and rolling over and seeing my daughter’s stroller on its side,” she said.
The wounded mother, at first, was unable to see her toddler, Sonia, who was physically unhurt, thanks to her father’s quick actions.
“As soon as he heard the first pop, pop, pop, he just grabbed her and pulled her down to the ground,” Turnipseed said. “He saw me get shot and he saw the bullet; literally, when it hit me, it spun me around and threw me to the ground.”
Months later, Turnipseed walks with a cane. The high-caliber bullet hit her in the pelvis and left shrapnel in both legs, resulting in nerve damage. Turnipseed and her husband, Ian, were forced to explain what happened to their daughter.
“Since I struggle with ongoing pain and nerve issues and those types of things, we still kind of have to talk about it regularly,” Turnipseed said.
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“She doesn’t understand the concept of a mass shooter, someone coming and doing that, so we manage it as best we can,” Turnipseed added. “She knows that mommy got a boo-boo.”