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Cheryle Lessard

May 22, 1972, changed my life. I was 11, playing with my younger brother and sister. We lived in Florida at the time, on a one-way street. We could hear people talking down the street, walking against traffic. Just as they got in front of our house, I heard “hey,” and then a car slammed on their brakes. Right after came a banging noise. My mom was at the door, yelling at us to come in, while more bangs were heard. We all jumped behind furniture, but I got up because I didn’t feel good.

My mom screamed, “You’ve been shot!”

I tried arguing: “No, I must have gotten hit by a rock.”

But Mom was right. My bullet is next to my spine, so doctors did not take it out for fear of death. Now that I’m older, I have medical problems, but I’m glad I’m alive.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.