Aurora one year later: A teenage survivor's story


(CBS News) On the cheer squad at her Denver area high school, 14-year-old Kaylan Bailey is learning to trust others to catch her.

Trust hasn't come easy for Bailey in the year since she survived the Aurora theater shooting, as those with her were gunned down.

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"There is times when I feel like anything and everything bad is going to go wrong and then I'm just paranoid about it, but everything ends up being fine and I start feeling better," she said.

When the gunman opened fire at the midnight movie Bailey was sitting with six-year-old Veronica Moser Sullivan and her mother Ashley Moser, both of whom were shot.

"[Ashley Moser] was hit in her abdomen and then when she was looking up to see where the shooter was that's when she was shot in her neck and that's when she fell over on top of Veronica"

Moser was paralyzed, unable to move. Bailey struggled to save the six-year-old and called 911.

"They told me to give Veronica CPR and I tried to explain to them that I couldn't because Ashley was lying on top of Veronica and I couldn't get to her chest."

In spite of Bailey's efforts, Veronica died. She was the youngest victim of the mass shooting. At the time people were calling Bailey a hero, but she didn't see things that way.

"I didn't feel like a hero then and I don't feel like one now either," she said.

CBS News first spoke to Bailey two days after the shooting and while the bullets missed Bailey, her emotional wounds seemed obvious.

"I'm still in shock. I don't think that it's hit me yet what I've been through," she said. "I know what's happened but it feels; well I want it just to be a nightmare, just a dream. I don't want this to be real."

Over the past year she has had help coming to terms with the terror of that night, but it remains a work in progress.

"Like my therapist will ask me certain questions about the theater and I'll answer and she'll say how do you feel about that, and it's like I have no feelings about it," she said. "I don't want to describe what happened but everyone's pushing me to."

She hasn't been to a movie since and said she will probably never eat popcorn again.

"People always used to tell me that it gets better and, I mean, it does, but you're always gonna have those times in the day or that one day of the week or something where it's just not good at all," she said.

Earlier this year she went on a church trip to Haiti where she worked with orphans. There she found some perspective.

"I thought my life was hard but then I went to Haiti and was like 'Oh my life isn't that bad,'" she said.

At orientation for the high school where she will start as a freshman this fall she discovered the cheer team.

"I noticed all the cheer girls were like laughing and having fun and I was like 'Wow, I want to be a part of that,'" she said. "I just like loved them from the start."

As the smallest on the team she has been given a place right at the top. For some that could be a frightening, but Bailey is learning to face her fears and defeat them.

For John Blackstone's full report, watch the video in the player above.