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'She is a miracle': Family of Uvalde survivor recounts elementary school shooting terror

A Uvalde fourth-grader recounts the terror she experienced in her classroom during the Robb Elementary School shooting.

UVALDE, Texas — *This story contains disturbing details from the Uvalde school shooting. Reader discretion is advised.*

In the midst of so much tragedy, there is a miracle at University Health Hospital in San Antonio.

“Yes, she is a miracle,” said the grandparents of 9-year-old Kendall Olivarez.

“All my grandkids, I don’t like for them to be suffering,” said Jimmy Olivarez.

Overcome with emotion, he and his wife Tina Olivarez talked about what their family is going through in the wake of the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.

“There’s a saying that you love your kids, but you love your grandkids more, and it’s true,” said Jimmy.

“Very brave little girl. She’s tough,” said Tina about her granddaughter Kendall who survived the deadliest school shooting in Texas History. 

“Just glad that we still have her with us. I don’t know what I would do without her,” said Jimmy, through tears.

This brave girl is everything that’s inspiring. Kendall, who loves dancing, Mexican bingo and TikTok videos, remembers the moment the gunman stormed into her classroom. 

“That’s gonna stay with her forever, how she saw her teacher get shot. It just happened right in front of her,” said Tina.

Shot twice, once in the left shoulder and in her back, Kendall is alive and able to tell her parents what happened inside Robb Elementary. 

They are not ready to speak on camera but her grandparents are. Jimmy emotionally described how much it means to them to have everyone’s support.

“Just happy that a lot of people care for her,” he said crying.

Kendall’s story is not easy to listen to, but it’s important to hear and understand the terror unleashed in her classroom.

Prepare to learn the horror she went through for more than an hour in her fourth-grade class.

Kendall says the gunman yelled out, “Y’all are done.” 

She says she was the first student shot, then teacher Irma Garcia was shot and landed on top of her. 

One by one, Kendall told her mother the gunman shot all of her friends.  

She heard each of them fall to the floor. 

Kendall’s cousin is a classmate, he pulled Garcia’s body off of Kendall because he was afraid she couldn’t breathe. Her grandparents believe the teacher’s body is likely what saved Kendall’s life.

Both Kendall and her cousin survived. 

The Olivarez family is overcome with heartfelt gratitude. 

“Thank you, God, for giving her another chance," said her grandfather who loves to dance with his granddaughter. He awaits the day when they can dance together again.

After five surgeries in 10 days, Kendall faces a long road to recovery both physically and mentally.  

Tina says Kendall’s parents are faced with their own recovery. She worries about her daughter-in-law and her son.

“He just cries but hasn’t really let it all out. And he’s scared. Very scared," said Tina. 

Kendall doesn’t want to go back to Uvalde. 

She can still hear the gunshots, the shooter walking down the hallway with his gun and her mother says she can’t sleep. 

“We will get through this. For her, we will,” said her grandmother.

The family says support and prayers from around the world have carried them.

The parents and grandparents are not working while they help Kendall in her recovery.

Kendall was released from the hospital and gets to go home. 

She and her mother will have to return to the hospital weekly for the next several months of her recovery.

If you would like to help them with their mounting expenses, the family has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser. Most of all, the family asks for your continued prayers.

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