Woman Encourages Forgiveness After Being Shot by Her Father

KMPH Fox 26 News, Fresno, CA – After spending seven months in the hospital receiving treatment for her gun shot wounds, a California woman is back home and telling everyone that forgiveness was the key to her recovery.

Valerie Alvarez was shot by her father, after he killed her sister. He then killed himself.Forgiveness-word-collage

The woman’s story is remarkable not only because of here struggle to live but because she defies the odds every day.

Alvarez lives with Spina Bifida, a spinal condition with which she was born. She is 34 years old but was not expected to live past the age of 20. Then the seriousness of her condition was magnified, and her life changed forever, on May 27th of last year when the bullet fired from her father’s gun hit her spine.

The shooting occurred just a few months after Alvarez lost her mother. She says her father struggled with the loss and she thinks that loss,  coupled with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from serving in Vietnam, made him snap. After all, it was Memorial Day.

“I think he wanted us all to be together, I think that’s why he did what he did. I don’t think he did it out of anger,” she says.

Alvarez recalls that every day she spent in the hospital after the shooting was a battle. She couldn’t breath on her own. She lost the ability to move her hands.

I forgiveBut then, she says, everything changed with one key decision.

“I forgave my dad,” she says. “That’s the best thing I could have done, was forgive my dad to get better, get my strength back.

“I have my hands now, I can push my chair now. Knowing I can be out there in the world, means the world to me!” she says. “To have my life back again!”

And for those struggling with their own challenges, she offers this advice…

“You can never forget, but you can forgive,” she says.

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