MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) — A Franklin Regional High School student, who was just released from the hospital two weeks after the stabbings, is telling his story.
Derek Jones was one of the more seriously wounded victims. He lost a kidney and needed multiple surgeries, but now says he’s happy to be back home.
Franklin Regional High School’s mascot is the panther, and that’s fitting for 17-year-old Derek Jones because he is one tough cat.
“I’m doing pretty good,” said Derek. “I’m barely in any pain right now to be really honest. I feel pretty good. I’m glad I’m out.”
Derek, a junior, was one of the most severely injured in the stabbing spree at the Murrysville high school on April 9.
“I was with my prom date, and we were just walking around, talking like we usually do in the mornings,” said Derek. “I heard a scream and I saw the kid running with the knives and I didn’t think too much of it, though I did at the same time. It looked like he was headed in a general direction. I shifted myself so it would be more like he would attack me than her, and he did get me instead of her, which I’m glad that was the case.
Stabbed in the back, 15 days later, Derek has battled back from the edge, enduring many long, complicated surgeries.
“I’m conscious the whole time until I get to the hospital, and then… it’s two days later and I’ve already had two surgeries,” he said.
Beside him the whole time were his grandparents, David and Jaqueline Jones. They say adversity builds character; in this case it revealed it. Derek has learned much about who he is.
“I guess my will and determination,” Derek said. “To be able to stay conscious throughout the whole thing and being able to get to the hospital without losing consciousness is something I never thought I’d be able to do.”
Still in some pain, Derek isn’t focusing on the scars of the past. They’ll be there forever. Instead, his focus is on the future and a very important upcoming obligation.
“Getting better and getting ready for the prom,” he says.