Standing tall again and with a beaming smile, the little girl caught in gang crossfire






It is a beaming smile that tells the world Thusha Kamaleswaran has never given up hope.

Paralysed from the chest down by a stray bullet in a gang war, doctors said she would never walk again.

But
seven-yearese extraordinary photographs show her determination to
recover.
-old Thusha insisted she would stand on her own two feet
again - and th


She has astonished
doctors by defying their original diagnosis that she would be
permanently paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.






Beaming: Thusha Kamaleswaran, who was paralysed after she was caught in gang crossfire in 2011, is pictured smiling as she has started to stand again

Beaming: Thusha Kamaleswaran, who was paralysed
after she was caught in gang crossfire in 2011, is pictured smiling as
she has started to stand again


She was just five years old when a gunman’s bullet shattered her spine and left her fighting for her life.

CCTV
images showed her dancing and skipping in her uncle’s shop just seconds
before the shots rang out - carefree steps which her parents feared
would be her last.


They took the agonising decision not to tell Thusha she was paralysed, as they did not want her to give up hope.

And now Thusha’s amazing progress means doctors have told her family they believe she will walk again.



The brave schoolgirl said: ‘I can’t wait until I can walk properly on my own again.

‘I’ve
already taken some steps on the treadmill in my harness with my physio
helping me. I want to dance around and play basketball with my friends.’


Her father Jeyakumar
Ghanasekaram, 38, said: ‘Thusha never gave up hope of walking again,
even when she was in hospital and had to take over a year off school.


‘She’s so hard working and never stops smiling. She just wants to play with her friends like other children.

‘She
does her physio exercises every day with that dream in mind.’ Thusha’s
success is made all the more remarkable because of her fight for life
from her catastrophic injuries.







Thusha Kamaleswaran pictured before the shooting which left her paralysed



Thusha Kamaleswaran undergoing therapy as she learns to walk again.




Learning to walk again: Thusha, pictured before she was shot, left, and while undergoing physio during her recovery


She was shot in her uncle’s shop in
Stockwell, South London, in March 2011 when gunmen targeted a member of a
rival gang, without caring who was caught in the crossfire.


Three men have since been jailed for the shooting.

Surgeons
at King’s College Hospital worked through the night to stop Thusha
bleeding to death, including reviving her twice after she suffered two
heart attacks.


Unconscious
for a week, the schoolgirl was kept alive on a life support machine and
her parents were warned she had only a 50-50 chance of survival.






Harrowing: CCTV from inside Stockwell Food and Wine showing Thusha lying injured after she was shot

Harrowing: CCTV from inside Stockwell Food and Wine showing Thusha lying injured after she was shot





Harrowing: CCTV from inside Stockwell Food and Wine showing Thusha lying injured after she was shot

Stricken: Thushan is found lying injured in one of the aisles of the shop



Once her life was out of danger,
Thusha was transferred to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire
and began intensive physiotherapy for the damage to her spinal cord from
the bullet.


Now she can
stand with the help of her walking frame and physiotherapists help her
to walk in a harness which carries her weight, to teach her body ‘muscle
memory’ and help her spinal cord to make new nerve connections.


Every
step takes concentration and massive effort, but for her family it is
like watching ‘a miracle’, her father told the Sunday Mirror.


Her
mother Sharmila Kamaleswaran, 36, told the newspaper: ‘Last month we
came home one day to find a letter from the hospital about Thusha’s
treatment.


‘It came as a
total shock, but it said that because of her amazing progress they’d
changed their minds and she would definitely walk again. We were so
happy.'






Police cordon off the scene in Stockwell, South London after Thusha was shot in 2011

Police cordon off the scene in Stockwell, South London after Thusha was shot in 2011


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