RICHMOND - One year later 17-year-old Ashley Parker continues to inspire. Last September she had gone to a football game with friends at Deanza High School in Richmond. She was leaving the game when shots rang out and she was hit.
At first, doctors weren’t sure if she would survive but Ashley beat the odds. The recovery has been long and Ashley is paralyzed from the chest down. One year later she says the long road continues.
“I got the bullet removed,” she explains because it moved from the spinal recovery and it was bothering me so we got it surgically removed so we can start on the process of my leg therapy.”
Therapy includes helping her with her arms so she can get around in her wheelchair more easily and working on her legs.
Ashley said, “I’m going to a facility once things calm down and basically they are going to work on my legs and I’ve been working with my physical therapist for my arms and my arm strength and regular mobility in my wheelchair so I’m ready for that.”
In the meantime, she continues to work on getting through high school. Back in January, she returned to school but the pandemic then sent her back home for online learning.
“It is stressful” she admits, “but it is doable.”
For Ashley, the key is staying positive in the face of an uncertain future, something she tries hard to do.
“If you feel a negative mind or keep a negative thought in your mind you aren’t ever going to get anywhere in life and so I feel like if you just keep positive then you can finally get through with what you’re struggling," she said.
Ashley credits her family saying, “I have a very very very nice support group with my loving family and my loving friends I think the reason I am positive is from my friends and family.”
She says she want to stay strong for them, and says” you just have to keep positive and mental health is very important to keep healthy just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Her older sister has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for medical expenses.