Connecting Neighbors: Deserae Turner

On February 16, 2017, Deserae Turner became a victim of a brutal scheme planned by two boys she knew from school. After luring her to meet them at an irrigation ditch behind their school, the two carried out their predetermined plan to kill her because they “thought she was annoying.”

After hanging out with the boys for a while she said she had to go home. One of them told her he had dropped a ring and wanted her to help him find it. When she bent down to look for it, the other boy pulled out a gun and shot her in the back of the head. After the brutal attack, the two walked away and left her to die in the ditch, thinking she would never survive—but she did.

Even after experiencing the darkest side of humanity, this young girl’s story magnifies the courage and perseverance she has found to redefine and rebuild her life. Deserae continues to work hard through an extensive recovery process as she adjusts to a body that will never be the same. One thing is for sure, her will is stronger than ever, and she is determined to find new happiness in her life.

Deserae lives by what she believes: “Life still holds good and pleasant surprises. Be willing to do things that are hard—you can’t wait for life to be easy. To be happy you have to make your own happiness, do what you love and do it often.”

While recovering in the hospital a comment was made to her that she was “one tough cookie.” Her reply was, “No, I’m tougher than a bullet.”

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