EXCLUSIVE: Va. Tech Survivors Remember, Speak Out

When Sean McQuade smiles, only the right side of his face moves. When Lily Habtu eats, she can only use two teeth in her mouth to chew her food. And when left-handed Katelyn Carney signs her name, she has to scratch out her signature with her right hand because she can't quite straighten the fingers on her left.

These are the survivors of the Virginia Tech shooting, and four months after the attack, they are slowly making their way back to the lives they had before they were injured.

"I just want this to be done," said Habtu, who is still waiting for her wounds to heal before doctors can begin to fix her injured jaw. "I just really want to get the surgeries and return my life back as close as possible to where I was before."

This week, as students return to the campus to start the new year, McQuade, Habtu, Carney and five other survivors sat down with ABC News to talk about what happened to them that day and how they have been working to recover ever since.

'That Can't Be Gunshots, Can It?'

On the morning of April 16, Kevin Sterne headed to German class just like he did every Monday. Though it was colder than usual and a light snow fell on the campus as he walked to Norris Hall, he had no reason to believe that it would be anything but an ordinary day. "It was a morning just like any other morning," he said, shaking his head.

As Sterne took a seat in Room 207, next door in Room 211, Colin Goddard and Kristina Heeger prepared to begin their intermediate French class. Around 9:40 a.m., they all heard noises down the hall that sounded like someone hammering, but they assumed it was work being done on a new construction site on campus.

But the noises continued, and concern grew. "Even my teacher was, like, 'That can't be gunshots, can it?'" Sterne said.

The French teacher also became nervous. "We were reassuring the teacher that, 'No, it's just a nail gun or a hammer,'" said Goddard. "Then, we heard it again, and it was louder, and it was closer, and her face dropped. She poked her head out for a split second, pulled it back in, said 'Call 911, get on the floor' and he was in the room seconds after that."

Goddard called 911 right away, but the shooter hit him in the leg and he dropped his phone; another student was able to pick it up and stayed on with police until they arrived at the scene. Heeger, who was shot in the back, recalled that as the gunman came in and out of the classroom, she and Goddard whispered to each other for support.

"Colin was laying very close, and the only thing I remember is we were looking at each other, holding our hands, just squeezing, saying it's going to be OK."

'I Thought It Was Fake'

In the German class, the morning followed much the same tragic path. At first, students remembered a young Asian man sticking his head in, looking confused. Thinking nothing of it, the students continued to practice their grammar with their professor, Christopher Bishop.

Then, the man opened the door again and looked in the classroom a second time. "This is pretty weird," Derek O'Dell said he remembered thinking. But, he dismissed the thought and turned his attention back to class. The man, later identified by police as Seung-Hui Cho, came into the class for a third time and opened fire.

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