By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A stray bullet changed a Twin Cities teenager’s life when it went through her spinal cord. Now, after months spent in two hospitals, Guadalupe Galeno-Hernandez is heading home, though her recovery is far from complete.

“I’m happy, because I’m going home,” she said.

Guadalupe was shot last November in South Minneapolis and is now a quadriplegic with weaknesses in her arms and legs.

Investigators think she was the mistaken target of a gang shooting, and a 17-year-old boy is charged with hurting her.

Her goodbye Friday brought tears from all the friends she has made at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.

“Bye, Lupe,” said Trevor, one of Guadalupe’s fellow patients with whom she made a special bond.

Guadalupe’s nurses also gave her big hugs before she boarded a van for her home, which has recently been made more accessible for her.

Since arriving at Gillette Children’s Hospital four months ago, Guadalupe has made it a long way.

“It’s amazing! She’s made so much progress,” said Kristen Leighton, a therapist who watched the teen recover.

Guadalupe is using her arms more for a lot of different activities, but she’ll need therapy several times a week for many months. She will also need long-term help and will continue using her electric wheelchair.

“I think back to December sixth, the first time I saw her barely getting words out of her. She’s just come so far. So great to work with her,” Leighton said. “You can’t stop her now!”

She and her mother still hope that someday she will walk and dance again.

“Unfortunately, Lupe doesn’t look like she’ll be able to walk. She’s probably going to have that continued weakness she has right now,” said Dr. Mark Gormley, Guadalupe’s Doctor at Gillette Children’s Hospital.

For now, however, Guadalupe and her mother are just savoring the little milestones in her life.

Comments (7)
  1. Melissa says:

    Stay Strong Sweetie

  2. Lydia says:

    Espero que Dios les de fuerza a madre e hija para seguir adelante, despues de sta situacion tan dura y dificil para las dos, que Dios le proveea el milagro de que vuelva algun dia a tener la fuerza para sostenerse en pie por si misma y a su madre sea muy fuerte y positiva para que eso ayude mucho a su hija que Dios las bendiga y adelante.

  3. Jen says:

    Congratulations on going home sweetheart! I know you’ll accomplish a lot things because you are fighter and are SO strong! (((((HUGS)))))

  4. Tired of pinheads says:

    So, you such a big man that it feels good to say bad things that this girl is likely to read about herself? You, Mr. Good Bye, are an illiterate, unworthy, unnecessary, inconsequential piece of dog slime who has no purpose on this earth. Crawl back under your rock, Mr. Tough Guy. Or face this girl and tell her you’re sorry.

  5. Kevin says:

    Have a great life in Mexico! Write often and soon!

  6. Steve says:

    Isnt her illegal Mother going to sue the state for the shooting? I mean it makes sense!

  7. Mark Sheehan says:

    Hello from Texas. My name is Mark, and I live in Houston and work at Johnson Space Center I found your story on line and I wanted to write you, wish you all the best, and let you know that a lot of people, even people you don’t know, are pulling and praying for you. You seem to have a lot of grit; those Minnesota winters you put up with up there must have something to do with that! It must have been a little scary going back to school after all that time away, but I hope it went well; the film clip made it look like it did.
    Work hard, keep your spirits up, and have some fun along the way! Have a wonderful summer!
    By the way today is the fiftieth anniversary of the first space flight by an American. I hope you celebrated! I was in second grade. The entire school crowded into the school auditorium to watch it on television.

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