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Family of Menard's employee hit by suspected shoplifter speak as she heads to Denver

"To go in and see your sister or your wife to be in this condition, nothing's guaranteed in life, it's kinda brought that to the forefront for me," her sister said.

ST. LOUIS — A Menards employee run over by a suspected shoplifter will continue her recovery in Colorado.

5 On Your Side was there as the stairs descended, and medics prepared for take-off.

"It makes me feel good that she's gotten to his point and she's going on to care that she needs," said Metro West Lieutenant Matt Coppin.

Police said Michelle Arthur was seriously injured when Debbie Penn hit her as she was leaving the Menards on Manchester.

Charging documents said Penn, seen on surveillance, and her five children were fleeing the scene after she left with a cart full of things they didn't pay for.

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"Its just overwhelming, I described it as a kick in the stomach, it really felt that way," Coppin said.

For the first time, Michelle's family is speaking with the media. Her big sister — Robin Diehl — described how that moment changed their lives.

"Just the unexpected. To go in and see your sister or your wife to be in this condition, nothing's guaranteed in life, it's kinda brought that to the forefront for me," Diehl said.

Out of respect for the victim, the family asked us not to show her face or any part of her body. But they tell us that she's doing better and they're hoping his trip will put her on a faster road to recovery.

"Together we felt that this was the best place for her and what was best for Michelle that's all we want right now, what's best for Michelle," said Diehl. 

Michelle was supposed to be going on vacation when she was struck.

"They were going to celebrate her 50th birthday, they were going on a trip with some friends," Diehl said.

And while she's flying somewhere else today, her sister says they'll be celebrating her survival soon.

"We are, and I am going too," she said.

Michelle was flown to Craig Hospital in Denver. The facility specializes in brain and spinal cord injuries.

It's the same place where injured police officers Ryan O'Connor, Craig Tudor and Mike Flamion received treatment.

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