PITTSBURGH - A woman shot and injured in Homewood a couple years ago said she’s telling her story with the hopes of helping at-risk youth.
"I went to the game that Sunday, and two guys decided to start shooting at each other for whatever reason, and I got shot," said Jill Charles.
It was August 2010 when Charles became an innocent victim of gun violence.
"The next thing you know I'm struck and then I see another lady go down and another man holding his arm. I'm like, ‘OK. Someone is shooting," she said.
Charles was watching her son’s football game when she was shot in the leg. The bullet ruptured a main artery and shattered her femur. She lost a lot of blood and was in critical condition. After more than three weeks in the hospital and 12 surgeries, she still suffers.
"I don't work anymore. I'm in pain 24/7. I can't even walk to the bus stop anymore. It has changed every aspect of my life,” she said.
Being fortunate enough to survive, Charles and her husband make it their mission to share their story with at-risk youth.
"If we explain the story to young people, they'll understand the ramifications of their actions on other people's lives,” Charles said.
She also wants the youth to know it’s not just victims like her who are affected.
"If you get yourself in a situation where you have to go to prison or jail, you have family and siblings that love you and are going to miss you," she said.
Charles believes telling her story is helping.
“I think we’ve made progress,” said Charles.
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