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Mother paralyzed by stray bullet makes plea for help

ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis mother caught in the crossfire. While doing her laundry, a bullet shattered her world.

“It’s not over. I have to fight for my children,” said Tamara Collier. “They were here the other day. I felt so bad and sad cause I can’t walk out the door with them. They didn’t want to leave me.”

Collier, the mother of a 5-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl, was a nursing assistant until she was caught in the crossfire of St. Louis gun violence.

“I just ask people to help me and my children. Help me get back on my feet. I pray every day that God would send somebody, anybody, to help me walk,” Collier said. “I know I’m going to walk again, it’s not over, I’m going to fight until the end.”

Collier’s life changed forever five months ago. She was at her mother’s house on 9th Street doing laundry on September 1, 2017. Outside the home, the city’s police gang unit was involved in a shootout with a suspect. A stray bullet came through the back door, severing her spinal cord.

“I was shot for no reason at all. I didn’t have nothing to do with what was going on out there,” Collier said.

That stray bullet eventually lodged in the living room wall. Collier said she’s grateful she’s alive and her baby daughter wasn’t hit.

“I felt like it was a nightmare that I’m trying to wake up from, but this is me,” she said.

At just 25 years of age, Collier now resides at a St Louis nursing home. She’s paralyzed.

“My insurance don’t cover occupational and physical therapy, only restored therapy. They just moving my arms and legs, but something’s better than nothing,” Collier said. “I need that extensive therapy, that strong therapy to build my strength. I know I’m going to walk again. I can’t claim this, I just can’t sit like this forever. I’m not gonna be like this forever.”

Collier said she desperately needs more rehab, counseling, a motorized wheelchair, and a disability accessible home.

“My arm is stronger, this one is coming along, but I could not stay there anymore because of my insurance, I need help,” she said. “I have a lot of nerve pain in my feet, I can feel my feet. I’m keeping the faith. I just want more treatment, more therapy to get myself going. I feel things now in my body. It’s trying to come back. … If I could just get more advanced treatment and therapy, I know I’m going to walk again.”

Our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported police fired one shot. The suspect returned fire with an assault rifle also wounding the officers.

The suspected shooter, Devonte Morgan, was arrested and charged with multiple crimes.

If you would like to donate or help the young mother, you can donate to the fundraising effort by clicking here.