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Girl shot by mom in head continues to recover

8:52 PM, Apr 17, 2013   |    comments
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AURORA - Three-year-old Isabel Perez was shot in the head by her mother. The bullets had already killed Bella's older sister Nevaeh and little brother Eric. Bella survived.

Denver Health doctors who saved her life called it a miracle. It is a recovery that will bring you hope, and a reason to smile.


"What are you wearing?" will probably be the first thing Bella will ask you. The 3-year-old doesn't talk much, but she's very interested in everything shiny or jewelry-like.

If asked, she'll tell you what it is but beyond that, the shy girl will just look at you with big brown eyes; an expression that would make you want to hug and hold her tight.


"One, two, three, stand up, get the ball," Sonja Lowrence has more patience than most people. The Physical Therapist Assistant at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora is working with a 3-year-old who doesn't quite feel like walking.

"Good job," she encourages, "I'm not going to hold you. You have to stand up."

When Isabel Perez, or Bella as everyone calls her, came here from Denver Health almost two months ago she couldn't do very much.

Her doctor, "Doctor Mike," or Michael Dichiaro, is an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Colorado. Doctor Mike said Bella couldn't use her limbs effectively. She wasn't walking and she wasn't talking.

It's amazing what two months and people like Lowrence and Joyanne McShea would do.

McShea is Bella's speech therapist. Bella didn't talk too much while 9NEWS was filming, she's shy.

But Dichiaro says Bella's on the road to recovery.

"There are no limits to how well kids can recover," Dichiaro said. "Kids even like Bella who have had very traumatic things happen to them, can make amazing recoveries. It's very inspiring to see."

"She's going to continue to grow and develop," he said. "She's going to continue to communicate better and she's going to continue to grow and be an adorable child, and at some point, an adult."

Family friend Doricel Aragon said the family considers Bella's recovery a miracle.

"God has really showed his love through her," she said. "[When] we saw her, all you could is pray, but in all honesty I wasn't sure she could make it. I look at her now, I'm beyond words that she' here today and that she's recovering so well."

Bella is checking out of Children's Hospital Colorado Thursday and moving to New Mexico to live with her grandma.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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