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Thusha in birthday wish to walk
A little girl left paralysed after being gunned down in a gang-related shooting has been asking if she will be able to walk in time for her seventh birthday.
The parents of Thusha Kamaleswaran have not told her that doctors say she is permanently paralysed from the chest down because they do not want to upset her, the Sunday Mirror reported.
Her father Jeyakumar, 37, also known as Sassi, told the newspaper: "July 20 is her next birthday. She recently asked me, 'My birthday is coming... will I be able to get up and walk by then?' So we just said that she will be out of her wheelchair in time for her birthday party.
"We want to give her hope that everything will be all right and that one day she will be able to do all the things she did before, so we'll keep lying to her for as long as we can."
Thusha, who had hopes of becoming a professional dancer, returned to her home in Ilford, Essex, on Thursday after spending a year in hospital.
Aged five, she was critically injured when three men opened fire into her aunt's south London shop in March last year. A bullet hit her in the chest and passed through the seventh vertebra of her spine, leaving her wheelchair-bound for life.
Her parents revealed that surgeons at King's College Hospital in London repeatedly revived her after she had two heart attacks and extensive internal bleeding. She was later moved to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, where she had intensive physiotherapy.
Mr Kamaleswaran told the newspaper his daughter has gained some feeling in both legs and sometimes on a "good day" she can wiggle her toes. Thusha told the newspaper: "I really miss dancing and I hope I will be able to dance again one day soon when I get better."
Nathaniel Grant, Kazeem Kolawole and Anthony McCalla were convicted last week by an Old Bailey jury of causing her grievous bodily harm with intent. They were also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to shopper Roshan Selvakumar, who was shot in the face, and of attempted murder of their intended victim Roshaun Bryan.
Kolawole, 19, of Kennington, south-east London; McCalla, 20, of Streatham, south London; and Grant, 21, of Camberwell, south-east London, will be sentenced on April 19.