Ella Whistler, an Indiana teen who was severely injured during a May 25 shooting at her middle school, spoke out on Wednesday about her recovery and the support she’s received since the attack, including from Taylor Swift.
Whistler, 13, appeared in-studio on the 95.5 WFMS morning show in her first interview about what happened, saying she is doing “very well” since the shooting inside Noblesville West Middle School.
The suspect, a 13-year-old boy, allegedly shot Ella seven times.
Though she sustained life-threatening injuries to her face, neck, hand and chest — suffering nerve damage, collapsed lungs and fractures in her jaw, clavicle, ribs and neck vertebrae — Ella survived.
While she was reportedly hospitalized throughout the summer, she said on WFMS that she was looking forward to returning to school.
She has been recognized out in public since the shooting, she said: “It’s different, but I think I’m going to get used to it … or hopefully it goes away. I don’t know!”
Whistler said that multiple people reached out in the wake of the shooting — even pop sensation Swift. Soon after the shooting, Ella and Swift, 28, FaceTimed while she was still in the hospital.
“She just said that she was really thinking about me, and we talked about her cats too,” Ella told WFMS. “It was pretty great.”
Of the local fundraiser “Ella’s Aid,” started by WFMS, Ella said: “I just want to thank like everyone from the community for what they’ve done, especially the lemonade stands [for Ella’s Aid]. It was a big thing. I thought that was so cool how everyone did that.”
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She also lauded the quick thinking of Jason Seaman, the seventh-grade science teacher who distracted and then tackled the shooter soon after the gunfire began.
Ella said the 29-year-old educator, her favorite teacher, “makes class fun.”