Gunshot victims struggle with physical recovery
April 29, 1999
(CNN) -- The school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, has drawn attention to the number of deaths by gunshot in the United States -- more than 34,000 in 1996, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those who survive a gunshot injury face an immense struggle to rebuild their lives that largely goes unseen by the perpetrators.
Fourteen-year-old Crystal Barnes and teacher Lynette Thetford were victims of the much-publicized school shooting in Jonesboro, Arkansas. They have spent a good deal of the past year recovering both physically and emotionally from their injuries.
"I was rubbing my stomach and I just started crying because I have this big scar there now that I didn't used to have, and it upsets you to know you're not like you were before," Thetford said.
Most shooting victims are less famous.
Bran Pace was one of 20 people shot in Baltimore over a weekend last December. Before the shooting he was a dancer touring with a Broadway musical company. Now he is a paraplegic.
Motor vehicle crashes still cause the most spinal cord injuries, but violence -- primarily with guns -- has overtaken falls and sports as the No. 2 cause.
Arrest seen soon in Columbine gun sale
Spinalcord Injury Information Network
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