ROSEBURG, Ore. — The past 12 months have had plenty of ups and downs, plenty of good and bad for Lacey Scroggins.
But one thing she definitely admits is that she is grateful. So is her family.
Lacey Scroggins, an 18-year-old freshman student back on Oct. 1, 2015, was one of the survivors of a shooting in a Snyder Hall classroom at Umpqua Community College.
It’s been a mentally tough 12 months for the young woman who saw up close the death and destruction caused by the shooter.
Just like a year ago when she opted not to talk about the tragedy to the media, but was OK with her father, Randy Scroggins, speaking on her behalf, she again had her father give an update this week on her recovery.
“She’s making immense progress,” Randy Scroggins, who is pastor of the News Beginnings church in Roseburg, told The News-Review (http://bit.ly/2drf7kW ).
“Less things are triggering that day for her. She is able to look more toward the future to see how bright it can be and will be. I think she is making tremendous progress, but as a dad, I just wish it was a little faster.”
Just like Lacey Scroggins, many of the victims and their families have maintained low profiles through the past year and will continue to try to stay out of the spotlight.
Scroggins said that for many months after the shooting, Lacey was immediately and negatively impacted by particular scenes on TV when someone mentioning a particular phrase or other shootings elsewhere in the world. Those events returned Lacey to that fateful day.
But the support of her large family, her faith and a change of scenery have helped her gradually move on. The Scroggins family moved to leave behind the house and room that Lacey returned to in her blood-stained clothes on Oct. 1, 2015.
Lacey also had to endure “Oh, you’re that girl,” on many trips out into the public when she was recognized as a survivor. Hearing that comment put her back in that classroom of death.
Lacey believes she survived the shooting because of fellow student Treven Anspach who partially covered her as he reacted to being shot. She believes that his blood that flowed onto her clothing and under her helped saved her life by giving the impression she was already dead.”
The Scroggins and Anspach families have developed a strong bond and Lacey and Treven’s mother, Kim, communicate frequently.
“Our whole family, every last one of us, is beholden to Treven,” Randy Scroggins said. “And not just to Treven, but also to Kim and Justin Anspach who raised Treven to be the young man that he was.”
One incident that helped Lacey in her recovery process was when a fellow survivor from the Snyder classroom approached her at a later meeting of families and expressed her gratitude for the medical help Lacey had given her. After the shooter had killed himself and Lacey had gotten up off the floor, she saw this other girl bleeding profusely and using her own scarf, tied a tourniquet to stop the flow.
“I think that helped in Lacey’s healing process,” Randy Scroggins said. “It reminded her that she had helped somebody that day.”
Lacey Scroggins didn’t return to UCC after the shooting and lived with her parents until deciding to return to school. She accepted a scholarship from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ORU president, Dr. Billy Wilson, reached out to Lacey and her family.
“He heard a pastor’s daughter was involved and just felt like he needed to reach out,” Randy Scroggins said of Wilson.
Lacey, now 19, left for ORU in mid-August is majoring in a biology pre-med program.
After making the difficult decision to move to Tulsa for school, Randy Scroggins said his daughter made a statement that showed she was ready to move on.
“Her comment was ‘I’m ready to be just Lacey again, not that girl,'” he said. “It was a very difficult decision for her because she wasn’t just leaving her family, her friends, but she was also leaving her dog, her cat, her horse.
“I think it has been good for her to develop new friends in another location, friends who don’t know about everything that happen here in Roseburg,” he added.
Lacey returned home Friday for a short visit for a couple of reasons. Her sister, Amanda Field, had a baby Thursday who she was anxious to meet and Lacey wanted to be with her family during this time a year after the shooting. She is not planning to attend any of the UCC-related events because of what they’ll trigger from a year ago.
“She’s a strong, young lady,” Randy Scroggins said of Lacey. “I get to talk about her future here today because she is still alive. We’re forever grateful for that.
“She’s our daughter, we’re proud of her,” he added. “She has made her mom (Lisa) and I extremely proud. We love her. It is really that simple.”
Information from: The News-Review, http://www.nrtoday.com