DADEVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Cara Johns and Trinity Richards are best friends, seen as practically inseparable in videos and photos on social media.
Cheryl Sledge-Richards, Trinity’s mother, said the two teenage girls are incredibly close.
”It’s Trinity and Cara,” Sledge-Richards said. “It’s always Trinity and Cara.”
So, it’s no surprise that they were together at a friend’s 16th birthday party on April 15. By the end of the night, Cara and Trinity were among 32 people injured in a shooting at the party, where four died.
Cara’s father, Justin, said his daughter was shot three times. When he finally reached her bedside in the hospital, he found his daughter in the fight of her life.
”I really don’t know how to describe it, honestly,” he said. “A lot of fear, you know. I was worried about how she was doing and I couldn’t find her. Basically, when I did find her I was scared to death to be honest with you. It’s hard to see your daughter like that, all messed up. It wasn’t a good feeling at all.”
In the month since the shooting, Cara has proved to be a strong fighter.
”We were told there’s a good chance she won’t make it,” Justin said. “So, we are thrilled to death to have her here. It’s a big deal.”
Sledge-Richards said her daughter is also making progress. Trinity is recovering at UAB Hospital, less than a mile from where Cara is staying at Children’s of Alabama.
Telling the girls about the condition of their friend was the toughest news the parents had the break.
”She said, ‘Is she okay?’ And I said, ‘Well Trinity, Cara got shot too and her situation is similar to yours. She’s been following almost the same path that you have’,” Sledge-Richards said. “She was really sad about that and Cara’s family told me that when they told Cara Trinity had been shot, she just cried and cried.“
Sledge-Richards is hopeful the two will be reunited soon and share the journey to health and wholeness, together.
”I want them to be in rehab together and work through this if that’s possible,” she said. “But I know they will be friends forever. I know they will be.”
Justin is certain Cara is getting close to that day when rehabilitation and recovery take the next step.
”She is getting better, it’s going to be a long road, but she’s going to come out of this,” He said. “She’s going to come out.”
Trinity’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help with the medical expenses of such an extended recovery. To contribute to it, click here.