Over My Shoulder: A Columbine Survivor's story of Resilience, Hope and a Life Reclaimed

Over My Shoulder: A Columbine Survivor's story of Resilience, Hope and a Life Reclaimed

by Kacey Ruegsesgger Johnson, Karen Booker Schelhaas




On April 20, 1999, Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson was a newly transferred junior at Columbine High School. As she sat down to read a magazine in the school library, she had no idea she was about to find herself at the center of an American tragedy, an event that would forever change the course of her life and many others. Moments later, two student gunmen entered the building to continue the massacre they had already begun outside. A now-famous photograph shows Kacey lying on the ground in the aftermath of the attack, in danger of bleeding to death and losing an arm. Columbine quickly captured the soul of a nation and left it deeply scarred.

The devastating injuries Kacey sustained in the Columbine shooting followed a year of adolescent struggles — a year in which she suffered through the sudden deaths of four friends, a deep depression, and a plan for her suicide. In this story of courage and resilience, Kacey recounts how she overcame the physical, emotional and mental suffering of these events to build a life, a family, and a loving home. Through sharing her story, she has discovered a surprising path to helping and encouraging others.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733651608
Publisher: OMS, LLC
Publication date: 03/15/2019
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

A survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson is a wife and mother of four, a national spokesperson for bone and tissue donation, and an inspirational speaker. Her story includes turbulent teenage years marred by the sudden deaths of several friends, a quick slide into a deep depression, her own suicidal ideation, and the life-altering experience of sustaining serious injuries during the Columbine shooting.

Kacey shares details and insight into the devastating effects of depression, physical trauma, PTSD, and fear. Her ultimate choice to "survive to thrive" has led to important healing. Her recovery culminates in a newfound purpose and passion to share her story to provide hope and encouragement for others. Kacey's greatest joys are found at home with her husband Patrick, parenting their three young daughters and son, chauffeuring them to swim meets and hockey practices, and enjoying Friday movie nights at home in their beautiful state of North Carolina.

Educated in communications and devoted to freelance writing, Karen lives in Colorado with her husband Brant and their five teenage and young adult children, better known as The Schelhaas
Seven. Hiking trails near their homes since 2006, Kacey and Karen first bonded as mothers nurturing their large families. Many years later they set out as book collaborators, combining Kacey's riveting life story with Karen's skill for creative storytelling.

Between jogging, cooking for a crowd, volunteering at schools, driving countless hours, cheering for her kids, caretaking, and traveling as much as possible, she can be found at her kitchen table in a cozy robe and fuzzy slippers with espresso running through her veins, thoughtfully drawing people into the front row of her experiences through the power of the written word.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

CHAPTER 1 From The Floor 1

CHAPTER 2 Lacey Kacey 13

CHAPTER 3 The Dark Descent 22

CHAPTER 4 April 20, 1999 37

CHAPTER 5 Heroes 63

CHAPTER 6 My “New Normal” 88

CHAPTER 7 Tattoos Of Survival 127

CHAPTER 8 Just One More 162

CHAPTER 9 Letting Go 185

CHAPTER 10 Beauty From Ashes 196

CHAPTER 11 Over My Shoulder 214

Afterword 229

About AlloSource® 241

Acknowledgments 245

About the Authors 251

Customer Reviews