Teen recovering from emotional scars of theater shooting by helping others

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DENVER -- One of the young survivors of the Aurora theater shooting wasn’t physically injured, but Kaylan Bailey is still healing from the emotional scars.

The 14-year-old was inside theater 9 last July 20. She was sitting right next to 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, a girl whom she had babysat earlier in the day.

Veronica’s mother, Ashley was there as well. Kaylan said, “I was calling 911 I was focusing on Veronica. I tried to tell Ashley that Veronica was ok because when Ashley was screaming Veronica’s name and Ashley wasn’t replying, I was telling her I could feel her breathing.

But when I turned back, I put my hand on Veronica’s chest and she wasn’t breathing.” Kaylan and Ashley made it out of the theater alive. Veronica did not. Kaylan said, “I know that if his gun hadn’t jammed we would’ve been next.”

Now, a year later, Kaylan is trying to keep busy, to keep her mind off the tragedy.

She has joined her high school’s cheerleading team. And she is helping those less fortunate, by volunteering at her church, The Church in the City.

In April, she went with a group from her church to Haiti, taking clothes, shoes, arts and crafts to orphanages there.

Working with children is near to Kaylan’s heart. She said, “It was amazing seeing their faces light up, the new shoes and the clothes and the stuff we gave them. It was really fun and an eye opener.”

Back at home, she is taking it one day at a time.

A couple of things bring a smile to her face. She said, “My friends, One Direction definitely, Teen Wolf definitely, the cheerleading group.”

She already has tickets to “One Direction’s” concert in Denver on Wednesday, and she is so excited about it.

Her plans for the one-year anniversary include visiting Veronica’s grave, stopping by to thank firefighters, police officers, doctors and nurses. She also plans to spend some time with other survivors.

"I want to mingle with the other victims 'cuz I really like talking to other people that share something like that with me.” She and her mother are also making and selling bracelets to raise money for Ashley Moser, who is still recovering.

For more information, contact Heather Bailey at Baileystamper@yahoo.com.

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