PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For Allison Meadows and her family, it was supposed to be a quick and relaxing shopping trip at the Target in East Liberty. She wasn’t supposed to cross the path of an enraged stabbing suspect. She wasn’t supposed to become a hostage, a victim.

But now the 16-year-old calls herself a survivor. And on Thursday, she’s headed home to Tennessee.

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“She will be dismissed about mid-morning,” said Glen Meadows, Allison’s father. “We’re going to hit the road and take off.”

Glen Meadows is grateful for what Children’s Hospital has done for his daughter, as well as for his little grandson, Cooper. He is the reason the family was visiting Pittsburgh this week.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital performed a three-organ transplant on the toddler one year ago.

“We’ve been here for recovery ever since,” said Chelsey Stokes, Cooper’s mom.

Cooper was born with a congenital condition called, Gastroschisis. He’s now in a rehab and feeding therapy program at the Children’s Institute.

“It’s hard that the reason she was up here was to come and see her nephew and see how well he was doing,” said Stokes. “And now she’s stuck in the hospital.”

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She says Cooper has a special bond with his Aunt Allison.

“They’re like two peas in a pod,” says Stokes. “When they are together, it’s just nonstop laughing from him, and there are toys scattered everywhere – they’re both playing with the toys. You really can’t tell the difference between the toddler and her.”

The family is taking Cooper’s recover one day at a time.

Allison says what happened to her here in Pittsburgh won’t stop her from coming back to see her little buddy.

“I know she sees the light at the end of the tunnel for her. It’s going to be a long road for everybody,” Stokes said.

“We owe the credit of saving Cooper’s life to this city as well, so we’re grateful,” Allison’s dad added.

Allison was stabbed once in the arm and once in the back – that was the wound that punctured her lung. She intends to go back to school on Monday in Tennessee.

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