PADUCAH, Ky. (FOX 56) – Tuesday’s tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, brought back vivid memories for a Kentucky woman who was shot at school 25 years ago.

Missy Jenkins-Smith is still dealing with the physical and emotional toll it took on her as the classmate who wounded her gets ready to face a parole board.

“I have to keep reminding myself, I’m still here and I got the opportunity to have these things,” said Jenkins-Smith.

Now, she’s a substitute teacher and a speaker who shares her story about that December morning in 1997 at Heath High School in Paducah.

“I instantly started telling myself, and it’s probably shock too, that this is just a joke, everything is ok. The gunshots I’m hearing is firecrackers. And I was hit in the spray,” said Jenkins-Smith.

She spent five months in the hospital and is paralyzed, but she was one of the lucky ones. Three female classmates died that day, five others were hurt, and countless were affected emotionally.

There are people that still are affected. Whether they saw it, you didn’t have to be there physically and be physically hurt to be a victim that morning.

Missy Jenkins-Smith

As the man who wounded her comes up for parole this October after 25 years behind bars, Jenkins-Smith said she’s forgiven him but hopes he stays put.

In the wake of another tragedy, this time in Texas, she shared this piece of advice for our country: “It’s important to talk about it and to tell and to keep your eyes open and not live in fear but to look for those signs because you never know when something might happen.”