CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) -It was March of last year when a stray bullet altered the life of a Chattanooga girl and despite the time that has past since she was shot, she continues to suffer.
Keoshia Ford, 14, of Chattanooga was recently admitted back into the Erlanger Intensive Care Unit. Her family told WDEF she is suffering from an infection as the result of her gunshot wound to the head. That injury was so sever that it's left her immune system weak.
"To see her up there like that; 14-years old and now almost two years later; she's still living out the consequences of someone's violence," said Pastor Kevin Adams of Olivet Baptist Church.
The Christmas holiday is right around the corner but it doesn't feel like the season most people look forward to for Keoshia's mother. Keisha Mathews wants to purchase Christmas gifts for her daughter and her daughter's siblings but Keoshia's medical bills continue to add up. Those bills started the day Keoshia became an innocent bystander who was caught in the middle of a gang shootout.
"It's depressing sometimes. I try to keep myself moving and focused. I try to keep my mind off of stuff like that. We'll get through it but it's hard," said Keoshia's mom.
Times are so tough and money is so short that the Olivet Baptist Church is helping Keoshia and her family enjoy Christmas.
"We can make this a wonderful Christmas. Give them gifts. They want Christmas gifts just like our children want and need gifts. We want to fulfill that wish list for them," said Pastor Adams.
The Pastor said Keoshia and her family never planned to be in this position but thanks to an act of violence, their lives have forever changed.
"When you pull the that trigger, you're affecting someone's life for the rest of their life and so we need to think about that and curb this violence and show more love," the Pastor said.
The family is asking for the public's help through donations. If anyone is interested, they can send donations to the Olivet Baptist Church
at 740 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Doors are open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Donators can also visit the Church Website
or call 423-266-8709