UC Merced victim talks about her recovery

Posted at 11:57 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 03:27:12-04

Danielle Quiroga said November 4, 2015 was just another day for her.

Saying she woke up late and was in a hurry to get to her office, putting her in the wrong place at the wrong time

“My carpool partner and I were walking to our office and there was just a loud commotion,” said Quiroga.

And those next moments would change her life forever.

”And so when you're walking at 7:53 in the morning and there' a commotion coming from your building, you take notice as to what's going on,” said Quiroga. “We kind of stopped to process the entire thing and he just kind of went a little crazy.”

But Quiroga says that day changed the culture of the campus and now every day is a new fight..

“I know they're adjusting to a new normal, I mean there's no other way to put it. Our culture of our campus isn't going to go back to what it was but everyone's adjusting to a new normal,” said Quiroga.

But it's not just campus having to re-adjust, in the incident Quiroga was stabbed in the back, nicking her diaphragm, causing internal complications that now have her re-teaching her body how to eat.

“Right now it's baby steps, so I was on a liquid diet, then you move up to like pretty much baby food and then you move on to like soft baby food, it's like being an infant again,” said Quiroga.

Now four months later, Quiroga was able to take her first steps back on campus just yesterday, making sure to visit the exact spot where it all happened.

“It was nice because there were students sitting there, they were eating their lunch. So it was like you know they've moved on past the incident, so it was really a good step forward to say I could move on past the incident as well,” said Quiroga.

And now looking back at that day, Quiroga said many lessons can be learned.

But none greater than the impact one decision can have.

“And to take ownership of the stuff that you do. Like I woke up late that morning, I could have been in my office at that time. But instead I was walking to my office because I woke up late,” said Quiroga.

Danielle did say that even though she doesn't live in Kern County anymore, her favorite thing that she can eat when in town is the egg drop soup from the rice bowl.