The 12-year-old Wisconsin girl almost stabbed to death by two classmates — who claim they were inspired by Internet meme Slender Man — just received a Purple Heart medal from an anonymous veteran as a show of support. The Purple Heart medal joins a collection of purple heart-shaped cards from other supporters from around the country, since the victim's favorite color is purple.
On May 31, two classmates allegedly lured the girl into the woods near Waukesha, Wisconsin, and stabbed her 19 times before leaving her to die. The duo have said they needed to kill in order to impress Slender Man, a fictional character popular on horror and fantasy sites. The girl managed to crawl out of the woods, where a cyclist found her and called for help. Her two classmates have been charged with first-degree attempted murder, and are now being tried as adults.
Today, the stabbing survivor is recovering at home, surrounded by the love and encouragement of her family and, well, everybody. The Purple Heart medal is the latest in a mounting collection of gifts from people all over. Accompanying the medal was a get-well card that read "The only heart I could find. Be strong!"
The Purple Heart medal is awarded to those who are wounded while serving in the U.S. military, but seems the anonymous vet wanted to bestow his honor on someone who was senselessly wounded for no reason.
In addition to the array of purple hearts, supporters have donated more than $50,000 toward the girl's medical expenses through the family's Hearts For Healing fundraising campaign.
The senseless nature of the act has hit a nerve for everyone who's heard the story, particularly since it involves the gruesome backstory of Slender Man. But as the public continues to rally together to remind the survivor that she's an inspiration, the girl and her family are not taking a minute of it for granted.
"Our family continues to be so moved by the prayers, well wishes, packages, financial support and purple hearts from around the world," the family 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."
Images: Steve Lyons, family spokesperson