YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Twenty-two weeks is how long Chaney High School student Christa Harrison has been in the hospital since she was shot in the neck in May.
The 17-year-old can’t walk, but there was a time that she couldn’t eat or even speak. She said she has come a long way since then.
“I almost lost my life. Now, it’s time for me to fight for my life back,” she said.
The bullet that hit her went through her neck and out her spine.
“Right now, I don’t have my fingers or my wrists, or half of my lower body, I don’t have. But I’ve been in here trying to get my hands back, but it’s kinda hard. I have my arms, I can lift my arms up and stuff,” she said.
But Christa isn’t giving up.
“A lot of nurses and stuff, they say, ‘You’re never gonna get your actual hands and stuff back,’ but I believe in miracles… I’ll never let anybody tell me I can’t or it won’t because nobody knows what my body can do,” she said.
So far, she has had four surgeries. She’s been going through physical therapy at the hospital. But, one of her biggest wishes is to go home.
“We have to come up with at least $7,000 to get her wheelchair and her ramp made. That’s the process we’re in right now. In order for her to get out the hospital,” said Christa’s mother, Erica Cruz.
Cruz says they don’t have the money to pay for her wheelchair or ramp, but they do have some donation baskets at different stores in Youngstown. She says if they can’t figure out a way to get it, Christa will be forced to live in a rehabilitation facility after getting out of the hospital.
Several arrests were made in connection to the shooting, but only one person was indicted, 26-year-old Shawta Hasley. He’s charged with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of felonious assault and a single count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
At the time of the shooting, Christa was standing on the sidewalk on Willis Avenue with three other girls when someone began shooting at them. Two of the other girls with Christa were also hit and went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Christa says she remembers the day like it was yesterday. She says after the bullet hit her, she fell to the ground and couldn’t move or speak. She said the other girls left and a neighbor called 911. In the ambulance, she gave the paramedic her mom’s number then, she passed out.
She said some days are worse than others. She misses how life was before. But, she is still hopeful for her future and all the things she can still accomplish.
Christa said she has lots of free time in the hospital, she says she’s using some of that time to write out her life story.
You can find donation baskets for her at El Jalapeño in Austintown, Senor Jalapeños in Liberty on Belmont, Jewels & More on Mahoning Avenue and Mahoning Wine Shop on the west side.