N.S. teen paralyzed in shooting beating expectations, plans to attend prom
The young woman left paralyzed by a violent home invasion in Cole Harbour, N.S. has already surpassed expectations in her recovery, and now she has her eyes fixed on the next prize — prom.
Ashley MacLean-Kearse was one of three teens hurt after four people allegedly entered a Halifax-area home in late November and opened fire.
MacLean-Kearse was struck by a bullet and left paralyzed from the chest down.
The 18-year-old hasn’t left hospital since.
But the progress of her recovery has already surprised her doctors, and this weekend she’s expected to return home for the first time.
“When I do look back to where I was to what I am now, it is very impressive,” MacLean-Kearse said.
When she woke up she couldn't talk as she had a tube in her throat to help her breathe.
“I thought I was going to die when it first happened. … It was a lot to take in,” MacLean-Kearse said.
“That's all I could think about: I was scared that I wasn't going to be able to see [my family] again.”
At first, she couldn’t talk, but she made it clear to her parents she intended to make it to her high school prom this June.
“I want to go to prom and I want to look pretty too,” she said.
“That's my goal, is to go to prom: get done up, stand up in my dress and I am going to be just like everybody else.”
Her determination has been key in the success of her recovery.
She’s studying hard to keep up with school, and pushing herself in her rehabilitation sessions.
She wants to join a wheelchair sports team, become a nurse, and have kids.
“I want to walk again and I plan on walking again. No matter what that takes,” she said.
“As long as it happens, and even if it doesn't, at least I tried. I don't want to give up.”
Four people are facing a number of charges, including attempted murder, in relation to the alleged shooting on Nov. 30.
MacLean-Kearse said she wants her story to inspire others to speak out against violence.
“People that go around hurting other people and don't get told on, they keep on doing it until it gets to a point where someone gets really hurt, like me,” she said.
“I got really hurt from all this stuff and it could have been prevented if people would have talked more.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl