The father of a 14-year-old girl who was shot in the head in northwest Toronto last week says his daughter is improving in hospital despite her critical injury.
Brandon Driscoll, a single dad, said his daughter, Alyssa, has been moved out of the intensive care unit at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children to a trauma centre. He said she is awake and able to speak.
Alyssa was critically injured in a shooting in a residential building on Stong Court, near the corner of Jane Street and Finch Avenue West, shortly before 3 a.m. on Friday. She was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition by police escort.
“My daughter is progressing. She’s actually in a better state. She is able to talk right now. She remembers things. I call her a warrior,” Driscoll said on Wednesday.
“We’re all just praying and praying. She’s doing fine for now.”
Toronto police have said the shooting happened inside the apartment. Four male suspects fled from the apartment after the shooting and travelled north on foot from the building.
Investigators are trying to determine what happened inside the unit. Hours after the shooting, police said they were speaking with a number of people who were in the apartment at the time Alyssa was shot.
Driscoll said his daughter’s left side is weak, she can barely move it, and doctors have said she will need a metal helmet on her head as she recovers.
Driscoll said he is speaking out now because a GoFundMe page has been set to help cover her expenses. The page, Fundraiser by Rita Stuckey: Help Alyssa Fight the Fight, has raised more than $6,200 of its $20,000 goal.
“It’s a miracle. She’s a strong little girl. She’s a warrior,” he said.
On the night of the shooting, Driscoll said he was sleeping in the apartment when he heard a big bang. He said he lives in the unit with his daughters.
“It happened so quick. It was such a tragic incident,” he said.
“When I rushed out, I saw my daughter laying on the floor. I called the ambulance right away. They told me to grab a towel. I squeezed her head as hard as I could. And the paramedics and doctors told me that if I had not have done that, that is the reason she is still alive today,” he said.
He said his daughter has said she would like to be in a safer neighbourhood when she gets out of hospital. He said she is traumatized and so is her family.
“She keeps asking to come home and I keep telling her that she needs to stay there to make her stronger. Today, she said: ‘Daddy, I am going to be as strong as I can to come home for you,'” he said.
“We’re just putting our prayers together for Alyssa. She right now, she’s my miracle child.”
On the GoFundMe page, her grandmother Rita Stuckey has written: “Anyone who knows Alyssa or her family, knows what an amazing young lady she is with such a zest for life and how close a bond she shares with her family. Our whole family is devastated but staying strong to support Alyssa through this terribly tragic time.”
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