Oxford High School survivor Phoebe Arthur goes home: ‘She is a fighter’

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Phoebe Arthur is out of the hospital.

“My sweet baby is HOME ❤️❤️❤️❤️ GOD IS GOOD,” wrote her mother Sandy Cunningham on a verified GoFundMe page set up to help the 14-year-old Oxford High School gunshot victim.

“OUR COMMUNITY IS AMAZING ❤️ lots of love to you all!”

Phoebe had just been released from Hurley Medical Center in Flint. This means one child remained hospitalized in the Nov. 30 shooting that killed four students and injured seven other people, including a teacher .

A 17-year-old female student was in stable condition at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in a news release Sunday.

An image of Phoebe Arthur, 14, a recovering gunshot victim who survived the Nov. 30 killings at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. Her family is raising money through a verified GoFundMe.com account. The $70,746 reflects funds raised through Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

An image of Phoebe Arthur, 14, a recovering gunshot victim who survived the Nov. 30 killings at Oxford High School on Nov. 30. Her family is raising money through a verified GoFundMe.com account. The $70,746 reflects funds raised through Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

The GoFundMe page for Phoebe was set up by Naomi and Edward Ernest of Manchester Township, a cousin. The dollars go to her parents.

On the home page, Ernest wrote that Phoebe had been shot in the chest and neck.

“Thankfully, a friend kept Phoebe out of harm’s way, holding her, praying with her, and putting compressions on Phoebe’s wounds to stop the bleeding until paramedics could arrive. Phoebe sustained serious injuries that required immediate surgery, after which she was put on a ventilator until stable,” Naomi Ernest wrote on GoFundMe.

“Through it all, her mom says Phoebe ‘has been the strongest, bravest, most epic human. She is a fighter.’ “

The fundraiser is intended to help cover expenses related to the trauma, both short-term and long term. All money goes directly to the family. By late Monday, the site had about 1,300 donations totaling $75,258 toward a $100,000 goal.

‘Made it through’

Updates on the page have included photos and optimism.

“Phoebe had such a big day and made so many advances towards her recovery,” Cunningham posted Friday. “She sat up, made it to a chair, walked, did laps around the ped(iatric) unit. She only had one awful pain breakdown today, those being the moments we don’t share. Along with all the doctors, nurses, psychologist … she made it through a big day.”

A screenshot of the Phoebe Arthur GoFundMe page that raises money for the Oxford High School shooting survivor. She went home from the hospital on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

A screenshot of the Phoebe Arthur GoFundMe page that raises money for the Oxford High School shooting survivor. She went home from the hospital on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

Ernest thanked people for the messages of support.

“I feel you all should know that your prayers and rallying around Phoebe is truly making a difference, along with her strength and determination to get better. Peace and love to you all,” she wrote.

The Free Press has reached out to Ernest to see if she would like to comment further.

Naomi Ernest, a cousin to Phoebe Arthur, a victim of the Oxford High School shootings Nov. 30, 2021, posted an image Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021 of Phoebe laughing. The friend with Phoebe appears to be a classmate who is still bandaged, too.

Naomi Ernest, a cousin to Phoebe Arthur, a victim of the Oxford High School shootings Nov. 30, 2021, posted an image Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021 of Phoebe laughing. The friend with Phoebe appears to be a classmate who is still bandaged, too.

Donations on the GoFundMe page ranged from $5 to $2,000. Some left messages on the site and others contributed anonymously. Donor comments came from all over the country and included:

  • “You are a true warrior,” from Shannon Gammon.

  • “Keep fighting — and know you are supported,” from Anita Banach from Romeo.

  • “Stay strong Phoebe!! Sending love & prayers to you & your community. Charleston, SC stands with you all!” from Ashley and Travis Parys.

  • “I don’t know your family but my heart goes out to every victim of the Oxford shooting. I’m a college student and $5 is all I could do but I hope that you get your expenses covered and I can’t wait to hear about updates on your recovery!” from Soraya Olds.

  • “We have adopted family and friends in Metamora — this is still much good in the world — we want to show it,” from Jeen Kobb.

  • “Recovery quickly, dear one,” from Jeanne Hoover-Kitzman, Oxford High School Class of 1965.

  • “Because nobody is alone,” wrote Patrick Yoshida.

One of the photos posted by Ernest includes Phoebe with a classmate who is also still bandaged.

Aiden Watson

Overall, there are eight verified GoFundMe pages related to the Oxford shooting as of Monday, seven designated for victims and one for the community.

A verified page was added Monday for gunshot survivor Aiden Watson, 15, by his aunt, Barb Crumback. The day of the tragedy would have would have been the first day he was in the water as a freshman for the high school swim team, she wrote on his page.

Depth of injury

To illustrate the gravity of costs for survivors, Michelle Carter-Johnston, a cousin to shooting victim Eli Mueller, organized his GoFundMe effort and provided a detailed account of his medical challenges.

“The bullet grazed his two fingers as it passed between them, went into his open mouth, hit and shattered 3-4 teeth, then out his right cheek below his ear,” Carter-Johnston wrote on the GoFundMe page. “This young man at the age of 14 will have to pause his teenage life to go through medical procedures and take time to heal in many ways.”

Eli Mueller, who survived the Oxford school shootings Nov. 30, has been released from the hospital. His family set up a GoFundMe.com page to help offset medical and other costs. This image was taken Monday, Dec. 6, 2021.

Eli Mueller, who survived the Oxford school shootings Nov. 30, has been released from the hospital. His family set up a GoFundMe.com page to help offset medical and other costs. This image was taken Monday, Dec. 6, 2021.

Money will be spent on medical costs and other bills related to the recovery, unpaid leave for his parents, college.

By late Monday, the Mueller page had about 1,600 donations totaling $75,177. Recent gifts ranged from $5 to $1,000. And comments included:

  • “Best of care and healing of wounds and his spirit,” from Lisa Clark.

  • “Mr. Mueller is a former coworker and colleague of the Pontiac School District. I absolutely don’t mind contributing for such a cause. Mr. Mueller is passionate about all students. We love you here at Pontiac MS. Ms. L. Smith your Forever Secretary,” from LaTrena Smith

  • “I am a teacher in Texas — my students are the same age as Eli. I hope Eli’s road to recovery is as smooth as possible and I hope his family and school community can find peace,” from Caroline Pinkston.

Find a verified GoFundMe account related to Oxford: Here. The site is updated if and when additional verified accounts are added.

Pulte support

Philanthropist Bill Pulte, CEO of Pulte Capital based in Boca Raton, Florida, has urged his 3.2 million followers to donate to GoFundMe sites that benefit Oxford families.

He wrote to the Free Press after its story on Madisyn Baldwin and said he was grateful to see the coverage. He confirmed Monday he personally had contributed to her fund.

Pulte is grandson of the late founder of PulteGroup, a home-building company that started in Detroit nearly 70 years ago as Pulte Homes. His family still has a home in Oakland County and a summer home in Cheboygan County, just south of Mackinaw City.

“The situation with Oxford is one where it is every parent and child’s worst nightmare,” Pulte wrote. “And so, when we think about philanthropy and why philanthropy exists, it should be exactly used for something like this.”

Donating online: The link to all verified GoFundMe accounts involving Oxford victims may be found at https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/oxford-high-school-shooting-fundraisers

More: How to help Oxford High School families: Fundraisers for donations, T-shirts for sale

More: Why prosecutors charged Oxford school shooting suspect’s parents

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-618-1034 or phoward@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Phoebe Arthur, Oxford High shooting survivor, leaves hospital



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