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Santa Fe HS shooting survivor undergoes eighth surgery

Student Sarah Salazar has been battling high lead levels because of shotgun pellets left in her body from the shooting

(Editor's note: The above video was originally published Feb. 26, 2019.)

SANTA FE — In the year since the shooting at Santa Fe High School, Sarah Salazar has fought high lead levels because of shotgun pellets left in her body.

Salazar, one of the 13 injured in the shooting, is going in for her eighth surgery since the shooting today in hopes of lowering those levels.

Salazar has 14 shotgun pellets still in her body, which has caused her high levels.

Credit: Courtesy Sarah Salazar
Sarah Salazar, one of the 13 injured in the Santa Fe High School shooting, underwent her eighth surgery June 20 to combat her high lead levels she's been battling since the shooting in May 2018.

In a Facebook post this morning, Salazar’s mom said a group of surgeons will work to bring her lead levels down to normal.

“May God bless Sarah and the medical professionals working on her,” Sonia Lopez wrote on Facebook.

Previously, Salazar’s lead levels measured a 21. Doctors said normal levels are 5.

Prolonged exposure to lead can result in greater risks for high blood pressure, heart or kidney disease and reduced fertility, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ten people died in the shooting on May 18, 2018. A gunman walked into an art classroom and killed eight students and two teachers.

Podcast: 'Santa Fe: Life After the Shooting'

Reporters Grace White and Matt Keyser returned to Santa Fe a year later. What they found were heartbroken families who are still frustrated by the lack of transparency into the shooting investigation and at politicians, who some say, aren’t following through on making schools safer. 

In the six-part podcast Santa Fe: Life After the Shooting, White and Keyser share these families’ stories of heartache and how those 30 minutes on May 18, 2018 have changed their lives forever.  

Subscribe and listen to Santa Fe: Life After the Shooting on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 1: The Day Everything Changed 

A student gunman entered Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018. He killed 10 people and wounded 13 others, casting this small Texas town into the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

RELATED: 'He died fighting': Family remembers son who fought to save others during Santa Fe shooting

Episode 2: The First Two

Officers John Barnes and Gary Forward were the first two officers to confront the shooter. John nearly died trying to protect hundreds of students.

RELATED: Brothers in arms: Santa Fe ISD officers first to confront the shooter

Episode 3: Grammy

So little do we hear about the long-lasting effects on the victims’ families after a school shooting. This is the window into one family’s grief who is still learning to live without the woman they knew as Grammy.

RELATED: Remembering Grammy: Family still coping with loss a year after school shooting

Episode 4: Survivor's Guilt

For some students who have had to return to Santa Fe High School, going back hasn’t been easy. Walking through the doors of the school serves as a constant reminder of the lives lost, their friends and classmates no longer there.

RELATED: Since Santa Fe shooting, students still carry emotional wounds from tragic day

Episode 5: The Long Road Ahead

Unfortunately, there are people out there who know what these Santa Fe families are going through. The principal of Columbine, two moms from Sandy Hook and the father who lost his daughter in a school shooting in Colorado share their experiences of how they continue to remember their loved ones.

Episode 6: Frustration Fuels Change

For some of these Santa Fe families, they’re frustrated and angry. They want more transparency into the shooting investigation, more accountability from politicians. And they’ve had to fight in hopes of keeping the shooter in prison for the rest of his life.

RELATED: One year after the Santa Fe High School shooting, are students any safer?