Nova Scotia

Ashley MacLean Kearse's father says daughter is showing progress

The father of a Dartmouth girl paralyzed from the chest down after a Cole Harbour shooting is taking comfort in the little victories.

Gary Kearse says his daughter is smiling at times

Ashley MacLean Kearse, 18, was paralyzed from the chest down when she was shot at an Arklow Drive home last month. (www.gofundme.com)

The father of a Dartmouth girl paralyzed from the chest down after a Cole Harbour shooting is taking comfort in the little victories.

Ashley MacLean Kearse smiles at times, has regained some movement in her hands and also spent an hour breathing on her own without the use of a ventilator, her father said Tuesday.

"She's braver than I am, just the fact that she can still smile about it and not mind. She's a strong girl," said Gary Kearse.

"It's overwhelming. It's almost unreal. Every once in a while you kind of sort of forget it for a split second, and your brain pushes it away. Then it hits you again."

Gary Kearse, whose daughter Ashley MacLean Kearse was paralyzed from the chest down in a shooting, says he's taking comfort in the little victories. (CBC)

MacLean Kearse is in the intensive care unit now, but her family has said the 18-year-old woman is determined to graduate on schedule next year and go to her prom.

At the hospital, she's spending her time keeping up on her schoolwork and watching movies.

Her family started an online fundraising campaign to help pay for various things they will need, such as a wheelchair-accessible house and van.

"Everyone's been really good. People have been helping out and wanting to donate. Someone called this morning and wanted to donate some kind of lift," said Kearse.

"It's so much beyond me, I think beyond all of us right now. We're still kind of dealing with what's at foot." 

More than $10,000 had been raised as of Tuesday evening.

MacLean Kearse was shot at an Arklow Drive home nine days ago by intruders wearing bandanas. Four young men around her age were arrested.

Three 17-year-olds boys were charged, along with 18-year-old Markel Jason Downey. Downey represented Nova Scotia as a boxer in the 2011 Canada Games in Halifax, winning gold.