Girl Who Survived Near-Fatal Accident Returns To School

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MOUNT HOPE, Ala. (WHNT) - Victoria was helping her grandfather early last month when the accident happened. A nail gun discharged, lodging a three-inch nail directly into her brain.

"Well, my Papa was coming down a ladder and he bumped the air gun and it shot into my head," Victoria Lopez told us.

"She didn't really know what had hit her," added her mother, Mandy Thurkill.

Victoria was flown to Birmingham, and the nail was successfully removed.  Monday, she was finally able to go back to class.

Maybe you can imagine how nervous Victoria was Monday morning, her first day back at school, and wearing that bandana to conceal where doctors had removed the nail, and where they had removed her hair.

But when she got to school, there was a very pleasant surprise. Everyone was wearing a bandana, all the students, all of the teachers, even the assistant principal.

"But it just brings goosebumps just to feel the love they really have for her. You say it a lot but it's true here, they really do love her and want to make her feel welcomed," said Ron Rikard, the school's assistant principal.

"I was really nervous because I didn't know what they were going to think about me," Victoria told us.

But now she knows. And throughout the day, in every classroom, the bandanas were everywhere. In Victoria's science class, they did an experiment using paper airplanes. But the lesson Victoria will likely remember best didn't come from a textbook. It came from the heart.

Victoria asked us to pass along her thanks to the doctors and nurses who saved her, and her grandfather who rushed to get her to the hospital in time.