By Jim Smith

BOSTON (CBS) – It was July 1st, 2003, heartbreak in a Boston neighborhood as stray gunfire strikes a three year old girl. She lost the use of her legs but somehow survived and thrived.

Kai Leigh Harriott is now 16 years old, getting ready for college and she wants to send a message to a 9 year old girl also hit by gunfire in Roxbury this past weekend.

“The main thing that the family should know is things take time and recuperation takes time so just supporting one another through this rough time is gonna be what gets them through,” Kai Leigh said.

Kai Leigh Harriott is rushed to an ambulance after she was shot in 2003 (WBZ-TV)

Kai Leigh Harriott is rushed to an ambulance after she was shot in 2003 (WBZ-TV)

Kai Leigh captured the city’s heart when she forgave the man who shot her, stunning the courtroom. The then toddler’s mother forgave him as well.

Kai Leigh’s mom says the family’s forgiveness actually took a burden off of them. “In order for me to go forward with our lives as a mother, as a single mother of five children, I could not be consumed by anger,” said Tonya David. “I had to let go.”

Police are reportedly very concerned that the 9 year old girl shot last weekend suffered at least temporary paralysis.

Kai Leigh and her family say they will be there to offer any support the victim or her family need.

“Healing is like a continuous process,” said Kai Leigh.

“People throughout their lives are always healing,” she says. “I don’t think healing ever stops.”

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