Child shot during mother's murder-suicide preparing to transfer to rehabilitative care next week

DENVER - Isabel Perez, the two-year-old survivor of her mother's murder-suicide, will be transferring to rehabilitative care next week.

Isabel awoke from a coma on Febr. 11, according to a Denver Health Medical Center spokeswoman. Friday, her doctors praised the paramedics who got her to the hospital.

"She did have a very severe gunshot wound to the brain and I'm very impressed with the fact that she got here alive. Credit for that goes to the paramedics," said Dr. Ken Winston, a pediatric neurosurgeon.

"The process of her care began in the field," agreed Dennis Bensard, the hospital's director of pediatric surgery.

Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Matthews said Isabel will be transferring to another hospital for her rehabilitative care.

Winston said he expects the girl to be in therapy for at least several months, but did say she was recovering faster than he expected.

"Children, young children, have a great tendency to recover and shift around parts of the brain that can do functions like speech," said Winston.

Asked if he'd call it a "miracle," Winston said: "I don't usually use the word miracle, but if you could ever use it this would be the example."

Isabel's attending physician described the little girl as being fed through tube, licking her lips, watching people in the room and moving the extremities on her right side.

Denver Police confirmed that Isabel's mother, 23-year-old Mayra Nunez, shot her three children and then herself on February 6. A 4-year-old daughter, Navaeh Morales, and an almost 2-year-old son, Eric Perez, died.

The autopsies found that Navaeh had been shot "multiple" times, while Eric and Mayra died of a single gunshot wound.

"What's done is done. God will be the judge of her," said Tony Nunez, the mother's brother.

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