James Pepper and Rashid Razaq
25 March 2013
A schoolgirl who was told she would never walk again after she was gunned down while playing in her uncle’s shop today told of her joy after taking her first steps.
Thusha Kamaleswaran was five-years-old when she became Britain's youngest gun crime victim in March 2011 when she was caught in the crossfire during a gang shooting in a Stockwell, south London.
The youngster was left fighting for life after a bullet shattered her spine. Gunman Nathaniel Grant, 21, was jailed for a minimum of 17 years while fellow gang members Kazeem Kolawole, 19, and Anthony McCalla were jailed for 14 years each.
After spending more than 12 months in hospital and numerous operations Thusha, now seven, has taken her first tentative steps and today told how she still dreams of becoming dancer when she is older.
She said on ITV1's Daybreak: "I want to play with my friend and travel the world." The youngster, who was shown on CCTV dancing in the aisles when the shots were fired, also revealed how she undergoes two hours of rehabilitation exercises every day with the help of her family,
"I can't wait until I can walk properly on my own again," Thusha said.
"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 overjoyed 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."
Only last month the family were told Thusha was making an excellent recovery and then two weeks later she was at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire.
Mr Ghanasekaram, said: "They lifted her into a harness to support her weight while she put one foot in front of another on a specially designed treadmill. Seeing her walking again, even with that support, was like a miracle."
To donate, visit: http://www.thushafund.co.uk/