Missy was one of eight students in a prayer group shot by Carneal on December 1, 1997 in the lobby of Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky. Three girls were killed. Missy, a 15-year-old sophomore at the time, was paralyzed from the chest down.
But Missy didn’t see her disability as an end. Just hours after the tragedy, she forgave Carneal and took back her life. In the next decade, with no malice and a focus on her physical and mental rehabilitation, Missy would graduate from Heath, earn a bachelor’s degree in social work from Murray State University, become a counselor for troubled youth, get married and give birth to a healthy son.
Missy, now 26, has received numerous honors over the years for her determination and courage, including being one of Ladies’ Home Journal’s “Most Fascinating Women of 1998,” appearing on stage as Al Gore’s guest at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and being honored by former U.S. Attorney Janet Reno as “a leader in encouraging youth involvement in crime prevention.”
Through her book, Missy shares the intimate details of her fascinating life since the shooting, along with her opinions on the power of forgiveness, the devastating effects of bullying and Michael’s appeal to have his guilty plea and life sentence thrown out.
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