Kai Leigh Harriott met Boston EMS Superintendent Joseph O’hare, in her study for the first time since she was struck by a stray bullet at the age of 3.
A Massachusetts teenage girl was paralyzed after being struck by a stray bullet when a toddler received a surprise at her high school of the EMT who treated her 15 years ago.
Kai Leigh Harriott graduated from Newton Country Day School on Thursday in front of her family, friends and Boston EMS Superintendent Joseph O’hare, who saw them for the first time since he arrived at the place at the 3-year-old was shot, Boston25 reported.
“What a moment between a young woman paralyzed by gunfire as a toddler and the @BOSTON_EMS EMT who treated her on scene and carried her to help. That little girl, Kai Leigh Harriott, graduated from HS today and was surprised by the first responder who helped her 15 years ago,” the Massachusetts State Police tweeted along with a picture of Harriott’s tearful reunion with O’hare.
What a moment between a young woman paralyzed by gunfire as a toddler and the @BOSTON_EMS EMT @BEMSOPS who treated her on scene and carried her to help. That little girl, Kai Leigh Harriott, graduated from HS today and was surprised by the first responder who helped her 15 years ago. https://t.co/mkIM2cYUjO
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) 7 June 2018
Harriott was playing outside her Dorchester home when she was struck by a stray bullet. O’hare arrived at the scene, performed Harriott to the ambulance and treated her until she went to the hospital.
Congratulations to Kai Leigh Harriott as she graduates from high school today.
She has inspired me in the course of the years.
Paralyzed as a toddler by armed violence.
Forgive the shooter.
ALWAYS with grace and courage.
Best of luck in college!#Boston https://t.co/jwTbasxg2n pic.twitter.com/67xlZfsWz0
— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) 7 June 2018
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Harriott, now 17, was paralyzed from the chest down after the shooting, but she refused to have of the injury to determine her path in life.
“I mean, I do know for sure it is still very good, but I don’t think about everyday,” Harriott told Boston25.
Harriott appeared in court when she was 5 years old to testify against her shooter trial. They forgave the shooter for the damage which left her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
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The teenager has participated in the protests about gun violence after several recent shootings in schools.
Paralyzed by a stray bullet in only 3 years old, Kai Leigh Harriott, is a symbol of strength and resilience. At the age of 5, she is captivated hearts as they preached forgiveness on the stand at her shooter trial. Tomorrow, she graduates. Congratulations Kai – my story 10. pic.twitter.com/Y8BOoHwAFN
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) 7 June 2018
“From communities such as this, gun violence is not something that most people are affected by, but where I come from and for people who look like me, it is a reality that we face,” Harriott told Boston25. “To speak in front of my school as a community and let them know that it’s much closer to home than they think was very important.”
Harriott is expected to attend the University of Arizona in the fall.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam