In a San Antonio hospital about an hour-and-a-half drive from Uvalde, Texas, a 10-year-old girl with pigtail braids walked down the hall to a chorus of claps and cheers.
Mayah Zamora was the last victim of the Uvalde shooting to be released from the hospital in San Antonio.Credit:University Health San Antonio
Mayah Zamora was the last victim to be released from the hospital after being injured in the May 24 shooting rampage that killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.
The attack was one of the deadliest school shootings in the country’s history.
A tan brace decorated with a rainbow heart sticker covered Mayah’s left wrist, a still-visible remnant of the violence.
But after 66 days inside the hospital and multiple surgeries, Friday “was a happy day at University Hospital,” according to the Twitter account for the medical centre where Mayah was treated.
Mayah walked out flashing the same bright smile her softball teammates recalled as they awaited her recovery, KENS reported. It’s the same expression captured in a photo of the girl taken just hours before the gunman unleashed terror upon the city not far from the US southern border.
On May 24, students were celebrating what would’ve been the last few days before summer break.
The auditorium was decorated with pink balloons and twinkle lights for the honour-roll assembly. Mayah was among the graduating fourth-graders to pose in front of a sparkly backdrop with “Robb 22” spelled in big, black letters. She proudly held three diplomas and a certificate for a robotics competition.
After the ceremony, some students left with their families, while others went to their classrooms.
Some parents and their children never reunited after the 18-year-old gunman walked into Robb Elementary unimpeded and unleashed a fusillade of gunfire that would take responding law-enforcement agencies some 74 minutes to stop.
Mayah was shot and injured in three of her limbs, her brother Ruben Zamora shared on Facebook. By June 10, she was prepping for a “very long road to recovery” that would include multiple surgeries, mental health treatments and physical therapy, her family wrote on a GoFundMe page.
As of early Tuesday, the campaign has raised over $US109,000 to cover medical expenses. Mayah’s softball teammates also raised over $US4000 through a lemonade stand, KSAT reported.
“I think the community has really pulled together, you know. I think we all have a broken heart,” her coach, June Ybarra, told the station.
During her months-long stay, hospital staff organised a surprise visit from country star Kevin Fowler after the Zamoras missed the concert they had planned to attend before the shooting happened.
“What an amazing experience it was meeting this sweet little girl!” Fowler tweeted on July 5. “She’s way braver than I could ever be.”
On Friday, more than two months after being admitted, Mayah and her loved ones wore pink shirts emblazoned with a silhouette of a heart and the phrase “Mayah Strong” in white. As two lines of medical staff members formed down the hallway, Mayah handed out roses with white, pink and fuchsia petals.
As Mayah and her family loaded into a black SUV to leave, a legion of hospital staff members posed for a last photo and waved goodbye.
“She is our hero and we can’t wait to see all she accomplishes in the future!” the hospital wrote.
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