KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Family of Tiana Carruthers are talking publicly about her recovery for the first time. Carruthers was shot four times during the Feb. 20 shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, but survived; shielding a group of children in the process.
According to family and friends, Tiana is hard at work in rehab and thankful to be alive.
"It is hard to see your sister like that because you never expect something like that to happen" started Antasia Fared, Tiana's sister.
Antasia was on her way to pick up her older sister, Tiana, when terror struck.
"We were actually on our way to go get her" said Antasia. "We were going to go see Acrobats at Miller Auditorium. I called her cell phone but she didn't answer. I thought that was weird because I am supposed to come pick her up to go see this."
Antasia got a call from her other sister who said Tiana had been shot. From there, it was straight to the hospital. Antasia said she has tried to be strong during her sister's recovery, taking care of her niece just like Tiana took care of her.
"It is very emotional because I have to be strong for my niece because I have to make sure my niece has everything she needs because my sister did that for me so I need to do that for my niece" said Antasia.
The family says Tiana is making amazing strides in her recovery.
"I found out she had metal rods in her legs and a broken collarbone after seeing her in rehab room getting up and walking around" said Keith Carruthers, Tiana's uncle. "She would be in a lot of pain, but she was walking."
"It has just been remarkable to see her recover the way she has" said Scott McCloughan, Tiana's spiritual adviser and family friend. "The doctors thought when she first went to the hospital that she would be there for two to three months. She is still working on rehab now, but the doctors see her as far ahead of schedule with what she has been able to accomplish so far through rehab and through the community praying for her."
They owe her progress to a few things:
"God, family, friends and the community" said Antasia. "That is what has gotten us through it."
There is no definitive timeline for Tiana to make a full recovery, but she is out of the hospital and in rehab. Her family says her heroic actions on that day, shielding children from the shots, is exactly what they would expect her to do. Every day when they go to visit Tiana the first thing she asks is how everyone else is doing.