By Syma Chowdhry
SICKLERVILLE, N.J., (CBS) — A South Jersey mother is speaking out after her daughter was struck by a stray bullet while simply sleeping in her bed.
She talks about her daughter’s painful recovery, and what she’s most thankful for.
“Why this happened to her? I can’t even answer those questions,” Betty Hudson said. She is scared for her family’s safety — after a stray bullet went through a wall and hit her 13-year-old daughter Tiya in the lower back as she slept in bed (see previous story).
The family’s lawyer, Patricia Darden, said, “Children are no longer safe in their own home. She was home in her own bed.”
Betty and her lawyer give Eyewitness News an exclusive update on the severity of Tiya’s injuries.
The shooting happened last week near the intersection near Hathaway Drive and Heywood Lane in Sicklerville.
Several bullets hit two homes and cars – several yards away.
One of those bullets – hit Tiya while she was sound asleep.
“Entered through the lower back, came out through her privates, exit wound through her private parts and exploded in her stomach,” Hudson explained. “ It was like she was shot five times.”
Tiya is in so much pain — she can’t talk about the incident. “I’m just happy to say I’m not burying my daughter.”
Family and friends have brought her gifts to cheer her up — but her road to recovery will be extensive.
Darden said, “She had to have her bowel reconstructed. She had to have her bladder reconstructed and there has been a negative impact on her reproductive system. We hope – with further medical treatment – will not impair her ability to have children.”
Tiya is an honor roll student heading into 8th grade at Winslow Township Middle School.
She has been dancing and running track for years.
Although doctors are hopeful Tiya will physically recover — her emotional wounds will take time to heal.
Tiya and her sisters are too scared to sleep in their room.
Hudon said, “She is still questioning ‘who’ and ‘why’ and we don’t know who yet
Betty wants the community to come to together to speak out against gun violence. “I’m angry. I want to know who did this and I want to protect other kids from having the same thing happen to them.”
The family plans to hold a peace rally this Saturday afternoon in front of their house. We reach out to officials to get an update on the investigation. They tell us so far no arrests have been made.
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