Shot Teen Overcomes Losing Eye

Thursday, February 26th 2009, 12:25 am
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- She was shot in the face and her family feared the worse and now that Oklahoma City teenager is proving nothing can stop her from chasing her dreams.

At the signing day for two students at Putnam City North, Kelsey Jameson and Abby Means signed their letters of intent to play soccer at separate schools.

"We're talking about two really tough kids," soccer coach Jake Kurey said.

It's been a long time coming for the two athletes, but for Abby, the challenge has been like no other.

Abby Means was at a party when a friend she trusted pointed what he thought was an empty BB gun at her.

NEWS 9 interviewed Abby last year after a friend accidentally shot her in the face. It's an accident that cost Abby her left eye.

"I didn't even know it was happening because it all happened so fast," Abby said.

The 18-year-old entered her senior year of high school with one eye, and enough determination to continue playing on the girl's soccer team.

"It's a little different, but you just have to adjust and I've adjusted pretty well," Abby said.

Abby has adjusted so well that Lyon College in Arkansas recruited her without ever knowing about the accident or the fact she now has a prosthetic eye.

"I love soccer and I love the game," Abby said. "I just pushed myself and went on a couple of college visits and Lyon made the best offer."

The patience, persistence and progress shown by Abby has impressed all around her - including her coaches.

"She lost half of her vision and in soccer, you play in 360 degrees, so you have to be able to look left and look right," Kurey said.

Abby says the accident has forced her to try harder and has improved her skills on the field. In a way she considers it a painful blessing in disguise that others can learn from.

"Just never give up," Abby said. "Just don't let anything stop you; you can overcome anything."

Abby's parents continue to stress the importance of gun safety. They urge gun owners to lock up their weapons and never point a gun at another person - even if you think it's not loaded.