It’s the happiest time in Lacey’s life. It's the summer of 2015 and she is about to embark on an experience that will turn her into the educated woman capable of helping others she has always wanted to be. But in less than four months time, one man will try to steal from her everything that she has ever treasured. It is at this precise moment that another student does one of the most touching things for her that I have ever seen.
Lacey Scroggins is the daughter of a pastor from Sutherlin, Oregon, and a typical teenager. She loves football (especially the Oregon Ducks), Carrie Underwood, and going to church. She spends her free time looking after her horse, Tucker, who she adopted when he was just a foal. You can tell from the joy in her eyes how proud she is of how much he has grown.
Lacey is clearly a caregiver, a person who acts selflessly to help others less fortunate than herself. She works as a volunteer at the nearby Bonaventure Senior Living center, helping to bring joy to distinguished citizens often forgotten by their own families.
When she enrolls at Umpqua Community College, Lacey has big plans: she wants to enter the nursing program and eventually become a surgeon. Her dream is to help save the lives of others.
But on Lacey’s fourth day of classes at college, an unimaginable horror strikes. During a creative writing class, Lacey, and her colleagues, hear a sudden, horrifying bang. Moments later, before anybody has time to react or understand what is happening, fellow student, Chris Harper-Mercer, storms into the room and fires two shots into the ceiling. The professor collapses immediately and Harper-Mercer turns his gun on the students. He begins to fire.
Lacey lies down, thinking to herself that the nightmare can only be a drill. The shooter then proceeds to ask students, one by one, if they are Christian, killing those who say yes. The students are terrified and huddle together. Suddenly, Lacey hears a large pop right next to her. Instinctively, she knows it is a former classmate from high school, Treven Anspach, who has been shot.
Lacey is too shaken to describe what happened next. Her father, pastor Randy Scroggins, tells it in his own words: “She felt the weight of his body on her. She opened her eyes and he was lying in the same direction as her, a little bit ahead of her. Then she saw his blood coming under her arms. She heard a gurgling sound coming from his throat and felt him move closer to her to cover her.”
Her father continues: ”And then at that time, she said, 'I heard the shooter over me say, ‘Get up.’"
She froze. The shooter asked another person, "Is she dead?" referring to Lacey.
The person said, "I don't know."
The shooter stepped over Lacey and shot someone else.
"The blood of that boy, Treven, saved my daughter's life," Scroggins said. "I know it as well as I know that I'm sitting here. He will always be the Scroggins' hero, from this point forward.”
It is exactly because Treven, with his last dying breath, laid himself on top of Lacey that she survived. Treven made the ultimate sacrifice for Lacey so that she could live.
Lacey’s father spoke with Treven’s mother on the phone after learning what he had done for his daughter. Treven’s mother had just one thing to say to him: “I want you to love your daughter, hold your daughter, kiss your daughter every day of your life. We have a connection, and every time you hug your daughter, I'll be hugging my son.”
In the meantime, Lacey has tried her best to resume a normal life. And she has done the most important thing in the world: spent time with her loved ones and friends. Trying to simply live and honor the memory of Treven.
And Lacey will continue to live, study and enroll in nursing school. All thanks to the selfless actions of one fellow classmate who, as fate happened, ended up in the same “Intro To Writing Class.”
Almost exactly one year ago when a distraught nation was grieving this horrific event, it is important to remember that even in the darkest of times, humanity finds a way to shine through. And it shined so brightly through Treven, a special boy who saved the life of this wonderful girl so that she could go on helping others.
If this incredibly selfless action of a true hero also brought you to tears, then share this story with everyone you know. So that the memory of Treven can go on forever.