"That day was just the worst day of my life. You don't expect to get a phone call in the middle of the night telling you that your son has been shot," said Marie Steinhubl.
Steinhubl experienced every parent's worst nightmare the night her 18-year-old son Mark was shot in the head.
"He was in the ICU and we were just staring at these doors for five hours waiting for someone to come tell us something," said Steinhubl.
Miraculously Mark survived, but the road to recovery has been long.
"It was hard at first. It had me down," said Mark.
Mark doesn't remember anything about the night he was shot, but does remember having to go through surgery after surgery.
"I had a lot of problems. I had my eye sewed up because that was an area where infection could get in. I was leaking spinal fluid out of my ear, and they had to close that up. I was in intensive care for about a month and then once I was stabilized, they let me go to TIRR," said Mark.
The Memorial Herman Institute for Rehabilitation and Research is where Mark had to re-learn the basics of getting back to everyday life.
"When I was at TIRR, I had a lot of problems with having patience with myself. There was just days where I just wanted to get up and walk," said Mark.
"He was very determined to back to his life so his early goals were very small. He just set a goal everyday and tried very hard to make that happen," said Marie.
"They expected me to be there for six months, but I just flew through and got out," said Mark.
After just a month at TIRR, Mark was released and managed to graduate from high school in time.
"He's just a miracle. I just thank God everyday that He chose to save his life," said Marie.
Mark was still able to attend the school of his choice, Texas A&M. Just seven months after the injury, Mark enrolled in school at A&M and is perusing a degree in chemical engineering.
"My grandpa is a chemical engineer, my dad is a chemical engineer and I just like science and math so it just kind of fell into place that this is where I wanted to be," said Mark.
Mark credits his faith for getting him back on his feet.
"I prayed a lot more, I know a lot more people were praying for me. The priests from my school came in and prayed with me, gave me the sacrament of healing and they would bring communion. I feel like these things strengthened me in my journey to healing," said Mark.
And it's that faith that the Steinhubls believe will be the key in Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords' recovery from the exact same injury.
"If she has that spiritual strength, she'll feel like she has some extra umph to get her on that healing path," said Mark.
"My advice for them would be to just take it one day at a time. Rely on your faith, rely on your friends and family and let them help you because they all really want to help you," said Marie.
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