DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Destiny Sidberry received a hero’s welcome at Rockwood Park in Durham Saturday afternoon, as the 15-year-old returned home for the first time in over a month.
Destiny was shot several times last month while trying to protect her young cousin.
It was an emotional afternoon, with family and friends pouring into a gazebo at the park to welcome Destiny back home.
“It feels good, and I love being around family, so it makes it even better,” she said.
It was a hero’s welcome that included official recognition from the City of Durham, with an official delivering a letter from the mayor, recognizing Destiny’s efforts last month.
It’s the culmination of what’s been an incredibly difficult month for the 15-year-old and her family.
On July 5, Destiny was shot several times while trying to protect her 5-year-old cousin Khloe Fennel. The young girl tragically died.
A report from the State Medical Examiner said that Destiny also pushed a 1-year-old relative into a closet, effectively saving their life.
“I didn’t even think, I just acted. So I didn’t think at all, I just dove in front of the kids,” Destiny explained.
Saturday also marked the first time she got to see Khloe’s mother since the shooting, saying she’s waited weeks to tell her in-person that she loves her.
“The whole time, I was just like, I wanna see my aunt, I wanna see my aunt. I feel like, in order for me to grieve right, I had to see my aunt, so we could do that big cry together.”
In that emotional moment, Destiny’s aunt gave her a t-shirt of her young cousin.
“Since I wasn’t at her funeral or her balloon release, this, this is helping me say that final goodbye,” Destiny said of the shirt.
While she’s back home, her recovery still continues. The teen still has a cast on her arm and will have to continue going to physical therapy.
“She had to have three bullets out of her chest, she has a fourth bullet in her chest that will be with her forever,” her mother, Keedrah, explained.
As Destiny continues her recovery, her mother says she couldn’t be prouder.
“I commend her, cause a lot of people, adults wouldn’t even have taken one bullet, let alone seven.”
Brian Luster, 42, has been charged in Fennell’s murder.