Kyla Sobers left Methodist Hospital with balloons prepared to celebrate her 17th birthday on Saturday. Just two weeks ago, her mother, Nadine, did not think she’d see that birthday.
“That was a real possibility at the beginning of this situation with her,” Nadine Sobers said. "No parent never really wants to think that it's possible that their child can pass away before they do."
On Oct. 1, Kyla was in a Boreum Hill park after school let out around 3 p.m. when a stray bullet hit her in the head. Police say three male suspects were caught on surveillance video fleeing the scene. Kyla was taken to the hospital and had surgery to remove the bullet fragments.
“It’s really a shocking experience. I would never expect this to happen, but things do happen, but it's not going to change the person that I am,” said Kyla, who spoke to us on Zoom Friday while she was on the way to check into a rehabilitation clinic.
“At times, it was very frustrating, because one day, I was up doing everything on my own, and then the next day I needed help to do certain things that I could have done on my own," she said. "At times, I wanted to give up, but I didn’t.”
According to the NYPD, the number of shooting victims under 18 doubled this year compared to the same time period in 2019.
“I hope that it's a little more controlled and the people that are doing this," Kyla said, speaking about the rise in gun violence in the city. "I hope they think about their actions and how certain things they do affect people.”
“We as a people need to be treated, think about the things we do to each other, because you can’t solve situations where the first thing you do is pick up a weapon to kill somebody,” Nadine Sobers said.
Kyla said she’s going to survive and thrive now knowing what she's capable of, and she hopes that others will be inspired by her strength.
“It just showed me that I got to keep on fighting, and that to never give up and always have faith in myself and don't let anything negative ever stop me,” she said.
Police are still looking for those three suspects. Kyla said she has a long road to recovery, but she's ready to get back to her senior year of high school.