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Editor's note: Last April, the daughter of Deirdre Vernon, who is with administrative records, was shot by a distraught woman who later tried to kill herself on the Coronado Bridge. Below is a letter from Vernon thanking the UCSD community for its support.

To My UCSD Family:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the outpouring of love you've shown my family and me during my daughter's tragic event. It's a parent's worse nightmare to receive a call that your child has been harmed in any form or fashion. Some of you prayed, sent emails, flowers, cards, etc. and some of you donated vacation time to the Catastrophic Leave Program on my behalf. From the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful for all of this. I could not have made it without you. Knowing that people cared and in any way they could supported me is what carried me through. I was able to care for my 1-year-old grandson and the entire multitude of things that needed my immediate attention without worrying about my job.

I've been employed at UCSD for ten years and have met some bumps in the road. I always heard that UCSD is a family, that it cares about your welfare and well being. I could never grasp that statement until I personally witnessed it. No matter what, you all pulled together as a family and came through. I was simply amazed that little ole me was thought about by so many people, from staff to VC to Provost etc., and my family and friends couldn't believe it either. Some of them kind of joked about wanting to work at UCSD when they saw the huge support I received. What a wonderful group of people we have at the university! There are no words that express the true meaning of how I feel about all of you for what you have done for me. If I had a magic wand I would grant every one of you your hearts desires.

Thanks to God and your prayers, my daughter is doing fine. She is recovering quickly and is able to be a mom again to her little boy, something she truly missed. She mentioned to me that he is what kept her struggling to stay alive. Along with all of our family and friends, my daughter's fiancée is by her side helping her with recovery too. They're a family again and send all their love to you just as I do.

Love you all,
Deirdre Vernon


UCSD University Communications

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