Chance Jackson, the 15-year-old victim of a school shooting in Martinsville, spoke publicly for the first time on Friday in order to thank the hundreds of people who have offered him support.

On March 25th, police say Michael Phelps, 16, walked just inside the doors of Martinsville West Middle School and fired two shots into Chance's stomach. Phelps has since been charged as an adult in the shooting. Chance, his family and his lawyer held a news conference to discuss his recovery but they did not comment on any questions surround the investigation or Michael Phelps.

Reporter: "If somebody asks you what you've been through what would you tell them?"

Chance: "A lot."

Chance Jackson followed those two words with a slight laugh. It's the kind of two-word response that you might expect to hear from a 15 year old but it also carried a weight which most of us could never really understand. Beyond his subtle humor, Chance admitted that his recovery from the March 25th shooting at Martinsville West Middle School has been long and difficult. Now, weeks later he still aspires to regain what many people take for granted.

"I just want to get back out and be a normal kid again," Chance said.

Michael Phelps, 16, is charged with firing two shots into Chance's abdomen just prior to school that day. The bullets broke a rib, caused major damage to seven of his vital organs and severed the vena cava artery, which runs from his heart and provides circulation to his legs. Doctors were forced to remove that artery along with Chance's gall bladder. They also performed an extensive surgery to repair his liver.

"I didn't want to get out of bed," Chance said of his initial hospital stay, which lasted a month.

Now, weeks later, a team of four doctors have helped him regain his legs and slowly begin building strength through physical therapy sessions three times a week. Yet, those doctors say it's still too early to offer any kind of timeline for a full recovery.

"I get worn out quicker," Chance said of his current condition. "I miss swimming, playing football, basketball with my friends."

"Normal things that you would do any other day, he's not allowed to. Not yet," said Chance's mother Rebecca Jackson.

Despite the daunting physical repair that remains, Rebecca says the biggest challenge has been the emotional recovery.

"[It] turned the family's world upside down," Rebecca said.

"Not something anybody should ever have to deal with," said Brian Edwards, who will soon be Chance's stepfather. "Nightmare is the word I would use."

Even though the shooting took an unbelievable toll on the emotional on the family, they all say they haven't spent much time thinking about what could have been.

"I couldn't afford to hit that low," Rebecca said. "I had to be there for (Chance)."

Reporter: "Chance, can you tell me what you thought when you first realized you were going to live?"

Chance: "That I was just going to get another chance and do something with my life. Something better. Get a good education."

Chance said it's been easier to keep a positive attitude thanks to an overwhelming dose of emotional support.

"I've been getting cards, people coming to visit me," Chance said. "People coming up just randomly saying, 'I'm glad you're doing good.' Giving me hugs."

Chance said that support has been so great that it outweighed what could have been a traumatic return to Martinsville West Middle School on May 9th.

"It was nice seeing everybody," he said. "How much they missed me, and how glad they were to know that I was doing better and healing."

Chance said the supporters were the real reason why he decided to speak publicly for the first time, and to them he has two more words.

"I'd just like to say thank you," he said. "For everything that they've done."

Chance said he aspires to pursue a career as a crime scene investigator. He said he was interested in the job prior to the shooting but said this first-hand experience has helped motivate him even more.