First she survived being stabbed 19 times. Police say it was by her 12-year-old friends. The suspects allegedly told police they did it to please an online fictional character named “Slender Man.”
Then she crawled to safety from the woods near Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Now as she heals, the girl, whose identity ABC News is not revealing because of her age, continues to inspire many worldwide, with well-wishers creating cards for her on homemade purple hearts.
“The little girl and her brother open up the hundreds and some days thousands of packages sent to the family from generous people from all over the world,” Stephen Lyons, the survivor’s spokesperson, told ABC News. “It's therapeutic and something she and her brother do every day.”
But this month a different kind of Purple Heart came for her in the mail: one issued to members of the military wounded service to the country, or to a family whose loved one was killed in the line of duty.
A simple note came attached, Lyons said. It read, “The Only Heart I Could Find – Stay Strong.”
The stabbing survivor and her family are now hoping to thank the anonymous donor publicly or privately, if they can find that person.
“[Her parents] explained to her the significance of a Purple Heart in the military and what it means, what a personal sacrifice it is to be wounded on behalf of the country, and how incredible it is to be sent this,” Lyons said. “The gift really resonates with the family because they are still dealing with wounds, emotionally and physically, from the events of May 31.”
Prosecutors say on May 31 the 12-year-old survivor’s friends Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser tried to kill her in hopes of becoming agents of “Slender Man,” a niche mythical character the duo read about online.
After the stabbing, authorities say the survivor crawled from the woods and was discovered by a passing cyclist who called 911 as she fought for her life.
Geyser and Weier have been charged with first-degree attempted murder. While the two have yet to enter pleas in court, the stabbing survivor continues to heal at home with her family by her side.
Lyons says the family is now trying to decide where they will display the gifted military Purple Heart in their home.
“Our family continues to be so moved by the prayers, well wishes, packages, financial support and purple hearts from around the world,” they wrote in a statement. “It does not surprise me that a decorated veteran unselfishly gave this amazingly brave and courageous little girl something from his or her heart.”
Along with the numerous mailings they've received, Lyons said the family is also grateful for the money raised in an online “Hearts for Healing” campaign. According to the family’s statement, “supporters have donated over $50,000 to assist the family in their goal of $250,000 to help with mounting medical expenses.”