NEWS

She Was Playing Kickball When She Was Hit By A Stray Bullet. Now She’s 36, Paralyzed, And Reclaiming Her Independence

In the quieter moments, the facade crumbles. For the first few months, Lyons broke down in tears every time a friend or family member left the apartment. She said her husband is the only one who has really seen through the strong exterior to the agony and depression.

Together, they have committed to taking on the future in small increments — it’s easier to think about the day-to-day, or week-to-week, than face the overwhelming notion of what life will be like by the time she’s 40, or 60, or 80.

So they find wins where they can. Sometimes that means going out to a brewery or making it through an entire Eagles game without having to leave feeling anguished. Sometimes it just means getting out of bed.

This fall, Lyons returned to work, teaching a slate of occupational therapy classes at Thomas Jefferson University.

And in early October, she sat on a blanket in Fairmount Park all day and watched her old kickball team, the Bayside Ballers, play together again for the first time since the shooting. Lyons’ family came, and some sipped on a beer called “Angry Amanda,” named after Lyons and brewed at a bar near Hancock Playground.

Several of her friends spouted off statistics about gun violence from Everytown’s website that they’ve committed to memory, like that the group’s research shows 58% of American adults, or someone they care for, have experienced gun violence.

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