As It Happens

Meet Precious Land, just one of Chicago's shooting victims. Now paralyzed, she can no longer hug her kids

In Chicago this year, more than 600 people have been shot and killed. Largely overlooked are several thousand others who have been shot and wounded and survived. People like Precious Land, who is now paralyzed and unable to speak.
Precious Land cuddles her younger daughter, Timia, 7, in a family photo taken before the shooting.

You've heard about the dead. 

In Chicago this year, more than 600 people have been shot and killed. Many of them innocent bystanders.

The doctors wanted me to pull the plug and I told them, no, I couldn't do that ... And here it is October and my baby is still here.- Stacey Turner, mother of Precious Land

Largely overlooked are the several thousand others who have been shot and survived. They and their loved ones now live with the consequences — often without seeing the shooter brought to justice.

One of them is Precious Land. She's the mother of four small children. Someone shot her randomly in May, leaving her paralyzed. Doctors said she will likely never recover.

Precious Land is now living back home, being cared for by her mother, Stacey Turner.

Now, she's back home. She is no longer in a coma, but she eats through a feeding tube and has a breathing tube in her throat. She's in the care of her mother, Stacey Turner, who spoke with As It Happens host Carol Off. This is an edited version of their conversation.

Carol Off: How is your daughter, Precious, doing since she came home?

Stacey Turner: Well, she's still critical, but stable. She's doing good.

CO: When she was in the hospital she was on life support and the doctors told her she has a lot of brain damage.

ST: Yes, they wanted me to pull the plug and I told them, no, I couldn't do that ... They was like, "Ain't no hope. That she wasn't going to live for about another week." And here it is October and my baby is still here.

Stacey Turner, left, says she's always had a close relationship with her daughter, Precious Land, right.

CO: You have your grandchildren at home, Precious's children, who are 11, nine, seven and six. How are you coping with all this? Do you have anyone else with you?

Two of her kids will go in the room and kiss on her and stuff. But Daveon and Timia haven't gotten to that point yet.- Stacey Turner

ST: Yes, her brother lives here, Victor. He watches her at night while I get a little sleep because I have to wake up at 1 a.m. and give her medicine and I have to wake up again at 4 a.m. and give her medicine. Then my day starts at 6 a.m. and he watches her while I get the kids to school. Then he goes to bed and it's my shift.

CO: What does it mean for the children to have their mother home?

Precious Land's four children are, from left to right, Jimarrion, 6, Tyreanna, 9, Timia, 7, and Daveon, 11.

ST: They're very happy. Two of them will not go in the room, but they're happy for her to be home. And two will go in the room and kiss on her and stuff. But Daveon and Timia haven't gotten to that point yet where they go in the room and talk to her and kiss her.

CO: And why won't they go in?

The shooters thought it was one of the gang-bangers. But it wasn't. It was my baby.- Stacey Turner

ST: They're kind of scared. Daveon is not used to seeing his mother like that. None of them are. And him and his mother have a really close relationship, so he took it the hardest. And it's still hard on him that this happened to his mother and he wants to know why.

Precious Land in a family photo with her older daugher, Tyreanna, 9, taken before the shooting in May.

CO: Your daughter, Precious, was taking her kids to play at a family friend's house on this fateful day in May. She never made it back. What happened?

ST: She was going to drop them off at her half-brother's house to spend the weekend. So she dropped them off. She had to come back around. Then they get to shooting at her car. That's what I assumed and what the police think too, that they were shooting at the black car that she drove with black tinted windows. They thought it was one of the gang-bangers. But it wasn't. It was my baby.

CO: Where was she shot?

ST: The bullet entered on the right side of her neck. It went around through the back, straight through her spine and lodged on her left side, which is still in her neck. 

CO: What else have police been able to tell you about why Precious was shot?

ST: The police haven't told me anything. The information I just told you, I got that from the reporter that wrote my story, Mitch Smith [of The New York Times]. The police haven't come to see me or talk to me since my daughter got shot May 27.

Before the shooting, Precious Land worked to support herself and her four children. Now the family is struggling to pay the bills and raise money to move to a new neighbourhood.

CO: How are you able to support your family now?

ST: It has been hard because I don't have any income. So, it's been hard, taking care of my grandkids and my daughter. But a family member did set up a GoFundMe page. That's helping out with my grandkids' needs and my daughter's needs, clothes and gowns and diapers and pads and wipes and lotions ... And the money to help me move. I'm in the process of looking for somewhere to move, but everywhere I've found, soon as I pull up, there's a whole bunch of guys standing around. And I'm not going to move anywhere where I have to take a chance of me or my grandkids or my son getting shot.

CO: You have so many people you're taking care of right now. How about yourself? How are you dealing with all of this?

ST: Well, I did a lot of praying because I can't change what happened and I have to stay happy to take care of my family. So, I'm not stressed anymore. I've got my daughter home where she belongs.

For more on this story, listen to our full interview with Stacey Land.


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