Heath H.S. shooting survivor speaks out after Marshall Co. H.S. shooting

Heath H.S. shooting survivor speaks out after Marshall Co. H.S. shooting
Published: Jan. 24, 2018 at 10:34 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2018 at 6:53 PM CST
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MARSHALL COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - Missy Jenkins-Smith was involved in the Heath High School shooting more than 20 years ago.

She said incidents like what happened at Marshall County High School on Tuesday, January 23 bring back those feelings.

Since being injured and wheelchair-bound, Missy has now become a school counselor where she helps students in middle school and high school learn to deal with anger.

One of the biggest things she mentions is talking. She said even today, that's what helps her and the worst thing is not mentioning it at all.

"That's why I became a counselor and work in a school with middle and high school kids," she said. "I want to be that person that will listen to them and let them get it out instead of them having to dwell on it on their own because there are people that care even if they think there isn't...there is people that care and they want to help."

The events of Tuesday will take awhile to recover from.

"No, it's not gonna heal quickly," she said. "It's something after 20 years, everyone at Heath still remembers and still is affected in someway..."

Missy Jenkins-Smith was one of those shot in the Heath High School shooting. She was paralyzed from the chest down and she knows how difficult it can be to get past daily reminders of a tragedy.

"You know, just like my wheelchair that I bring with me that I have to use every day..." Missy said. "Those lasting reminders that you see straight forward are hard for some people...and the worst thing that you can do is to keep it to themselves...they may not want to talk now and that's fine but eventually..."

She said it's her version of therapy, talking to others about her experiences help her but also help others. Now, she looks to be the listening ear for others as well.

Also knowing that this can happen anywhere is one way we can try to prevent it.

"We're not immune anywhere and we don't have to live in fear but we do that by making sure when you see those signs and not to ignore that and we have to teach our kids that because they don't know how to handle it," she said.

Missy said the worst thing you can do is keep it inside.

If you are wanting to do something for Marshall County students, Missy suggested even something as simple as a letter can help. She still has letters from 20 years ago that she remembers getting her through those times.

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