Bronson Methodist Hospital issues statement correcting details about 14-year-old Kalamazoo shooting victim

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Gift of Life Michigan extends its deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the senseless shootings in Kalamazoo and hopes for the full recovery of those injured in the violence. Here is a release issued by Bronson Methodist Hospital, including a statement from Dr. Aaro
n Lane-Davies, medical director, that corrects erroneous information regarding the treatment of Abigail Kopf, a 14-year-old victim.

For Immediate Release

February 22, 2016

Contact: Carolyn Wyllie

Bronson Corporate Communications

(269) 217-8716

Statement from Vicki and Gene Kopf, parents of 14-year old Kalamazoo, Michigan shooting victim Abigail Kopf

First we would like to thank the community for your support and prayers.

We want you to know a little bit about Abigail. She is strong willed and loves to have fun. Loves theater and musicals, and was very athletic. She loves animals, especially sharks and wolves.

The night of the shooting Abigail had been with her beautiful, free-spirited grandma Barb. They went to Miller auditorium, along with Barb’s friends, to watch a performance and returned to the Cracker Barrel to pick up their cars when tragedy struck.

We are devastated by the loss of Grandma Barb and her wonderful friends. We will miss them dearly. Barb was a special part of our lives. Our hearts go out to her family.

We have been by Abigail’s bedside since this happened. She remains in critical condition fighting for her life, but as we mentioned, she is strong-willed and she is fighting.

We would like to thank our family and friends who have been a huge support to us. Governor Snyder, for taking the time to offer his genuine sympathy and respecting our privacy, and the team here at Bronson’s Trauma Center and the Bronson Children’s Hospital. The staff and doctors have done such a wonderful job.

Our thoughts are with the Dalton family who also are suffering at this time. We want his family to know we don’t hold anything against the family members.

We want to ask that the media respect our privacy, and most especially Abigail’s. We know she has a long road ahead. We appreciate your ongoing support.

Statement from Dr. Aaron Lane-Davies, medical director, Bronson Children’s Hospital

We are grateful for the efforts of the first responders and law enforcement this past Saturday. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of the victims and everyone impacted by these senseless shootings. (cont’d)

Saturday night Abigail was critically injured.

Her heart stopped during the on-going attempts to sustain her life.

Following restoration of her heart beat, our team shared with her parents the grave nature of her life- threatening injuries. Due to both the nature of her injuries and efforts required to sustain her life, our team discussed the possibility that she could become brain dead.

At the request and with permission of Abigail’s parents our team contacted Gift of Life.

The act of organ donation, after a tragedy like this one, can only occur after a person has died. Determining brain death requires a series of physical exams, sometimes in conjunction with other testing over the course of multiple hours. This series of exams was not begun due to Abigail’s clinical condition.

Abigail was not declared medically brain dead.

She has undergone a surgical procedure to address her injuries, remains on the ventilator and critically ill.

Abigail, her parents and our team continue to fight hard for her life. In spite of the seriousness of her injuries, we are encouraged by the relative stability over the last few days and her responsiveness to her parents and our team.

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