Woman Paralyzed in Midtown Shooting Released from Spinal Center

Lauren Garcia was wounded in the parking garage attack that killed a Decatur woman.

Lauren Garcia, one of the victims in July's triple shooting in Midtown that killed a Decatur woman, was discharged from the Shepherd Center on Thursday.

Garcia, 22, remains paralyzed from about the waist down and must use a wheelchair. But she left the Buckhead spinal center today with an engagement ring on her finger and, as pictures seem to show, high hopes for the future.

Garcia -- who grew up in Lithia Springs and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011 with a degree in public relations -- was shot in the back during the at the parking garage of the Proscenium building on Crescent Avenue. 

Nkosi Thandiwe, a 22-year-old security guard at the building, with murder in the death of Brittney Watts, 26, of Decatur. He faces two counts of aggravated assault in the shootings of Garcia and Tiffany Ferenczy, 24. Thandiwe's is set for Sept. 26.

Days after the attack, to the Shepherd Center in Buckhead, a hospital that specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries (check out video from her recovery).

"Lauren Garcia sustained a complete spinal cord injury at the thoracic level, and she is paralyzed from the injury level down (from around the belly-button level down)," Jane Sanders, publications manager for the Shepherd Center, said Thursday in an email. "She is using a wheelchair for mobility."

While she was recovering at the Shepherd Center, Garcia's boyfriend Anel Camdzic proposed marriage to her, Sanders said. Camdzic popped the question by drawing in chalk on the top of the parking deck at the Shepherd Center (see photo).

"He surprised her with a marriage proposal, and she, of course, accepted," Sanders said.

Garcia will continue therapy in the Shepherd Center's outpatient program, she said.

"In the outpatient program, she will work to strengthen her body and perhaps regain some function below the level of injury," Sanders said.

Garcia's family has set up a trust fund to help pay for her medical expenses. Contributions should be sent to:

Lauren E. Garcia Trust
6622 East Broad St.
Douglasville, GA 30133

For updates, check the Facebook page “Thoughts and Prayers for Lauren Garcia."


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