A week after a drive-by shooting left a young Maine girl with a bullet in a backbone, Emahleeah Frost is back home in Waterville.
Friday, on her way to be reunited with her friends and some family, the 7-year-old and her parents made a stop at the Waterville Police Department to thank first responders who kept her alive after a gunshot went through her bedroom wall, wounding her in the chest, coming to rest in one of her vertebrae.
Dozens of Waterville firefighters, EMTs and police officers greeted the young girl with flowers, a special blanket and a T-shirt.
Other than a donut-patterned back brace, Frost showed little to no signs of pain or struggle from her wound.
She was able to walk around the police station on her own and chat with some of her rescuers without effort.
"I don't know if you remember me, but I was in the back of the ambulance with you," said Alex Johnson, a paramedic who helped treat Frost the night she was wounded. "You were the strongest patient that I have ever come across, not one tear shed from you."
Frost took a few questions from NECN after having some donuts and preparing to take more home.
"I've gotten used to it," she said of the brace. "It hurt more when I got shot."
The young girl added she is happy to be home and is hoping to return to school at some point next week, depending on how she feels.
"I want to go back to school and see my friends, I miss them," she said.
Her parents say they're very grateful for the support Mainers have given them over the past week.
They say doctors treating their daughter expect she will fully recover and will be able to stop wearing her back brace in the summer.
There are no immediate plans to remove the bullet from Frost's back, but, according to her parents, doctors will assess doing that later.
Meanwhile, a shooting suspect has still not been identified in her case.
According to Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey, the investigation is still "moving forward."