Teen shot in head still in coma; Family must soon care for her at home

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The family of 15-year-old Danielle Sampson, who was shot in the head, will soon care for her at home once she is released from the hospital.

The Orange County teenager was caught in the crossfire of a shooting in July and has been in a coma ever since.

That incident has led to a new push to try to curb violent crime across Orange County by raising awareness through prayer. The community began the first of 40 days of prayer on Monday.

"It's unfortunate, but at the same times it makes an awareness that we need to begin to do something," said the Rev. A.L. Helligar.

Community leaders, the Orange County Sheriff's Office and Sampson's family held the news conference Tuesday. Sampson's family said the teen remained in a coma but has shown small signs of improvement.

They said she could be discharged from Arnold Palmer Hospital to a rehabilitation facility outside central Florida.

Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital said it can't talk about specifics of the case because of privacy laws but it released a statement, saying they do their best to work with families through these tough transitions. 

For Danielle’s family it begins Wednesday.


Donation Information: All Regions Bank locations are accepting donations under "Greater Orlando Cares - Hope for Danielle Fund."

Donations are also being accepted at www.gofundme.com/SupportDanielle


The family said it has a long, hard road ahead, as family members soon will be forced to care for their daughter at their small home.

Right now, the family is trying to figure out how they're going to pay for the special care Danielle needs.

"Some fool on the street changed not only Danielle's life, but the whole community," said Danielle's father, Justin Fletcher.

On Tuesday, Danielle's family opened its home to WFTV, showing reasons why bringing their daughter home will be a challenge. Their air conditioner is broken, and her wheelchair and hospital bed won't fit through the doorways.

Danielle's parents said insurance money has run out, and they've both stopped working to stay by their daughter's side.

Danielle will soon be transferred to a rehabilitation facility where her mother will undergo a two-week training session on how to care for her. The plan after that is for the family to return home, which has community leaders scrambling.

During Tuesday's news conference, the Attorney General's Office said Sampson qualifies for money from a victim's advocate fund that was created specifically for crime victims. The fund will pay for a portion of Sampson's bills.

According to Chaplain Willie James Barnes, praying for safer streets is something that works. He was part of a similar project with Orlando police in 2008.

"It worked. We did it all over the city of Orlando, and I'll tell you the crime rate went down," said Barnes.

Every night for the next 40 days, prayer vigils will be held in two places known for crime: Texas Avenue and Americana Avenue; and Silver Star Road and Hiawassee Road.

The sheriff's office said some 50 churches throughout the faith community have pledged to support the crime fighting efforts.

So far, one person has been arrested in connection with the shooting. Tyrone Mosby has been charged with attempted homicide.

Investigators said Mosby and his friends had just burglarized a home and opened fire when the homeowner came after them.

Investigators are still looking for others who were involved.