Minneapolis teen paralyzed by bullet attends graduation

Published 10:27 am Thursday, June 2, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS — A south Minneapolis teenager has joined her classmates at their high school graduation about five years after a bullet pierced her neck and nearly killed her.

Guadalupe Galeno-Hernandez was among 405 Minneapolis South High School students who donned a cap and gown Tuesday night during the ceremony at Mariucci Arena, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1TJFbCk ) reported. But she won’t receive her diploma until she goes back to school in the fall to take more credits and complete her “Super Senior” year.

“I just admire her every day, her courage and her smile,” said South High Principal Ray Aponte. “And you know despite all of the challenges that she’s had in particular, she comes to school just smiling and is always pleasant.”

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In November 2010, when Guadalupe was 13, she was shot when a 17-year-old boy mistook her family for gang members and fired indiscriminately at them. The bullet went through her throat and lodged in her spine, paralyzing her from the waist down.

Although doctors initially thought she might not survive, Guadalupe slowly recovered after undergoing intense therapy. She’s now able to get out of her electric wheelchair and stand with assistance.

“I’ve been through a lot,” she said. “To come all this way from where I was at, is just like, yeah, I’ve been through really bad stuff, but now it’s like I’m good.”

Guadalupe is a budding poet who dreams of being an elementary school teacher.

She will become the first child in her family to complete high school.