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PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – Exactly one year later we continue to remember the 14 students and three adults who died last year at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
However, sometimes we tend to overlook the 17 others who survived getting shot and may live with their injuries forever.
Maddy Wilford is one of the victims who survived after being shot during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.
“I used to have flashbacks. It was kind of like blurry. I didn’t really notice much detail, but now it’s like more vivid,” Wilford said. “Just the fear and the reality of how scared I was.”
Wilford was a basketball player and an A student who dreamed of being a doctor.
She was in her AP Psychology class an hour before the shooting started.
Wilford said she knew something was wrong when she heard the first shot go off.
“I can just remember like sitting there, trying to get into a position where I wasn’t going to get shot,” she explained. “I just could think, I hope this isn’t real. And this whole fear set over me. And then I did get shot.”
Cell phone video captured by other students showed Wilford and blood splatters on the floor as a teacher asked if anybody was injured.
Three bullets tore through Wilford’s abdomen and pierced her lungs. A fourth shredded her right arm.
“The whole panic set in and I was like, ‘Why me? I don’t want to die,’” she remembered. “And so I just kind of accepted it toward the end and I just kinda blacked out.”
Wilford, who was once listed in critical condition, added that first responders didn’t feel a pulse at first.
Maddie’s father David Wilford was in Nashville when the shooting happened. He flew home not knowing whether his daughter was alive.
“I saw her face above the covers with a tube down her throat and bruises all over her face,” he said. “I was so thankful she didn’t die.”
The physical recovery has been difficult. Her wounds have healed but there are scars that will forever remain – some you can’t see.
“When school started, it just kind of went downhill from there. I didn’t feel motivated to do anything,” she said.
Wilford said she has realized how short life can be.
“You never know what could happen next,” said Wilford.
Wilford is trying to move forward and is making progress. The entire family is now in therapy for trauma.
She also has a new service dog, Anya. Wilford is helping with coaching basketball and interning at the very trauma center that changed her life.
Her father feels she is way more resilient than people even realize.