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Community builds ramp for teen recovering from shooting

By James Felton and Brianna Owczarzak

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    SAGINAW CO., Michigan (WNEM) — It was a team effort to make life a little easier for a 15-year-old girl as she recovers from a gunshot wound to the head.

The accidental shooting in October paralyzed half of her body, making everyday things like getting into her home a huge obstacle.

Aubriana Anderson said she felt very appreciated as volunteers built the ramp at her Saginaw County home on Monday, Dec. 12.

Anderson was shot in the head in Bay City on Oct. 22. Her injuries initially left her paralyzed on her right side. Now, a month and a half later, she is making progress.

“I’m getting stronger and stronger every day,” Anderson said.

In a letter Anderson wrote about her experience, she said, “I survived the bullet. It was a miracle. I kept praying every day that I would get stronger and stronger. I couldn’t move my right leg or my right arm. I couldn’t really talk because of where my brain injury is. My recovery was hard, and I’m still recovering but I made it.”

Anderson’s life will get a little easier thanks to a team effort that began Thursday, Dec. 8. It all started when Bay City Public Safety Officer Matthew Meisel got a call from the Bay County Prosecutor’s Office looking for someone to build a ramp.

“Through Bay County Habitat for Humanity, we were able to make this possible today,” Meisel said.

Bay County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Brian Krause knew he had to act quickly.

“We tried to figure it out. This was just a couple of days ago. And so I ended up calling the local union, 362, and they got some guys together, and Monday morning we’re out doing this,” Krause said.

UAW Local 362 President Jason Vanbocxlaer said eight union members and two salaried employees from GM Powertrain in Bay City helped make the wheelchair ramp a reality.

“I’m always impressed with my membership. You know, you raise the call and they come to help. The community helps us at times. And we want to help out the community as well. So it’s always an honor to support the community,” Vanbocxlaer said.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested and charged with careless or negligent use of a firearm causing injury in this case. At last check, he was lodged at the Bay County juvenile home.

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