UVALDE, Texas — As you make your way through Uvalde, you’ll see signs of strength and beautiful reminders of the 21 souls lost one year ago.
Just blocks away from Robb Elementary, survivor Miah Cerrillo is surrounded by love as she endures her long journey of healing.
“The kids understand that she goes through some stuff and we’re all there for her to make sure that she’s comforted,” said Miah’s mom, Abigale Veloz.
Veloz, a mother of five, has helped absorb the pain felt by her daughter, who witnessed the murder of her classmates and teacher in room 112.
As Cerrillo testified in a pre-recorded before Congress, she quietly called 911 while covered in her peer’s blood, hoping for an end to the horror.
Since May 24, Cerrillo has struggled.
“Showering was hard for her. One of us had to be in there with her. Moving around the house, she didn’t like to do it by herself, so she always had her brothers or someone else to go with her,” Veloz said.
There are also barriers of trust when it comes to opening up.
“She doesn’t like to go to counseling, so we have to find a person that she feels comfortable talking to,” Veloz said.
Such barriers are broken with some of Cerrillo’s classmates who somehow made it out alive.
“If one has a nightmare, they have a group chat where they contact each other and ask questions about hey, can you go to sleep or do you want me to call your parents,” Veloz said.
Through all the trauma, Veloz said her warrior of a daughter is slowly overcoming the pain and she is grateful for the community members who continue to express support.
“Since May 24, just her being able to come out of her room on her own out of her room, little stuff that she used to be afraid of now she has moved forward,” Veloz said.
“We love the prayers and we thank everybody that prays for the kids. The first stories that we did were the sad ones where she couldn’t really do much and she couldn’t smile or laugh like she is now and just having her friends to make her smile is a really good feeling.”
Cerrillo and her classmate Khloe Torres, who also called 911 from inside Robb Elementary, were awarded for their actions at the Texas Public Safety Conference in Galveston.
In June, Cerrillo and fellow survivors of room 212 will be spending several days at Disneyland. A GoFundMe organized by Cerrillo’s mom has generated more than $40,000 so far.