Victim of UAHuntsville shooting is returning home

By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A professor seriously hurt after he was shot by a fellow co-worker 2 months ago is on his way home.

Professor Joseph Leahy was given the all clear to leave Shepherd Rehabilitation in Atlanta. Leahy is one of three survivors of the UAHuntsville shooting.

Amy Bishop Anderson is charged with capital murder and attempted murder in that case.

Dr. Leahy's family keeps those concerned on his condition updated through an internet blog. Each day they outline his improvement, milestones and hopes of a full recovery maybe one day returning to teaching.

Welcome home banners and signs made by neighbors and friends liter Joseph Leahy's front yard at his home in Madison. There's a yellow ribbon tied around an oak tree and one on the mailbox.

It's a big day for Leahy and his family. 2 months ago the UAH professor was shot during a faculty meeting by Amy Bishop Anderson. He spent weeks in intensive care at Huntsville Hospital, then, was moved to Shepherd's Center in Atlanta for rehab.

Finally, word from doctors the family has been waiting for...the all clear to come home.

UAH spokesman Ray Gardner says everyone is happy about his homecoming.

"It is exciting to hear they are recovering we are looking forward to them being on campus in the near future," said Gardner. "This incident will always be part of this institution but we have an opportunity to grow from that."

Leahy's family keeps a blog on his progress.

One post reads...

"We believe Joe can and will make a full or nearly-full recovery. He can stand with support, verbalize and interact."

But despite what he has accomplished, his family says "Joe literally is having to relearn hundreds of mental and physical skills and behaviors. It is a long and painstaking process".

The family and friends are still a long way from having the Joe they all know and love back in the fullest sense of the term.

The family says its needs some time to themselves, at least until after the adjustment has been made and a routine is established.

Religious times are exceptions to this as communion and prayers are always welcome.

©2010 WAFF. All rights reserved.