DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham community remains shaken up nearly a week after 5-year-old Khloe Fennell was shot and killed in her own home.
For medical leaders at Duke Hospital, it's also a sad reminder of how common gun violence has become in the community.
Victims of gun violence have been coming through the doors at Duke Hospital so regularly it has become commonplace. So much so that the hospital created a new intervention program specifically geared toward dealing with gun violence.
The program coordinator Uzuri Holder said since the program began last September, it has handled 129 cases of gun violence. One thing she said stands out is just how young some of the victims are, and that there's a misconception that people who become victims had behavior that caused what happened to them.
"I think we have to open our mind and understand that any one of us, you (and) myself, can be a victim of gun violence," she said.
The program connects victims of gun violence who are taken to the hospital with mental health resources, that can last even after they're discharged from the hospital.
"Victims of violence have experienced sometimes more trauma than just the trauma of the gun violence, so our aim is to recognize that, and support them through that and connect them with resources to aid in their recovery," she said.
Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, those resources have been stretched thin. But those resources remain much needed for survivors facing a long road ahead.
"I think people expect that when someone's a victim of gun violence they either die or they're OK, and people don't realize the in between that happens -- that their life will change permanently after that," Holder said.
One of those permanently-changed lives, 15-year-old Destiny Sidberry. The cousin of 5-year-old Khloe Fennell is still recovering at Duke Hospital after being shot trying to protect her cousin.