A girl from Utah, who survived being shot and left to die in a ditch, has been crowned homecoming queen by her high school.
17-year-old Deserae Turner was left paralyzed on her left side after being shot by two classmates and left for dead. She was found eight hours later, and has spent the intervening time recovering from her grievous injuries - having been confined to a wheelchair for several months.
Colter Peterson and Jayzon Decker, were later sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after they were found guilty of the attempted murder of Turner.
Deserae is still scheduled to undergo a further two more surgeries before the end of the year, but when her high school crowned her homecoming queen at her prom, she found the strength to stride across the football pitch of Green Canyon High School, escorted by her father and date.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE magazine, Deserae stated: "I felt honoured to know the student body picked me to be Homecoming Queen. It felt magical; like I was Cinderella. A dream come true that I didn’t know I had. I was happy for days."
She continued: "I would like to tell my community and school, thank you, I truly felt like a Queen. I wish every girl could experience such a magical, amazing event. I wish every high school student can feel as loved as I did."Watch Desirae be crowned homecoming queen below:
Meanwhile, her mother, April, told PEOPLE: "I have cried many happy tears. It is special to see Des so happy and doing something that normal teenagers do. Her life is so different than the typical teenager."
She added: "It’s wonderful for her to just suspend her doctor's appointments and therapies to be a 'normal' teen for a moment. I’m sure this will always be a treasured memory as she looks back on Homecoming week."