A 12-year-old girl who survived being stabbed 19 times in a murder plot concocted by two classmates to win over the love of a fictional Internet character received quite the surprise in the mail, her family announced Tuesday.
“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 package was very different. Included inside an unsigned card was a Purple Heart for the Wisconsin girl.
"The only heart I could find," the anonymous individual wrote the little girl. "Be strong!
Purple is the girl's favorite color.
“[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 told ABC News. “The gift really resonates with the family because they are still dealing with wounds, emotionally and physically, from the events of May 31.”
In May two of the 12-year-old's friends lured her into a park and stabbed her 19 times in hopes of pleasing "Slender Man," a fictional character they had read about online, authorities said. The two have since been charged with attempted murder.
“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.”
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