Cheerleader Shot in Neck, Honored by Basketball Crowd

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(KFSM) — Fort Smith Northside Cheerleader Neisha Forest, sidelined after a shooting, is now scheduled for surgery.

On Feb. 23, doctors at Children’s Hospital in in Little Rock will attempt to remove the bullet that’s stuck in the girl’s neck.

At Senior Night at Northside High School Tuesday night, the crowd she once led to root on the Grizzlies cheered for her by standing ovation.

“There’s just no way to explain it,” says Neisha’s mother Rhonda, “just for her to walk out for her senior year just means the world to us, she didn’t even know if this would happen tonight.”

Police say the 17-year-old was shot while sitting in her bed Feb. 7 around 3 a.m. after an argument between two men in front of her neighbor’s house ended in gunfire.

The bullet went through two walls before ending up in her neck, dangerously close to major arteries, according to Neisha’s aunt Lavonda Thompson.

“They say it’s better to take it out than leave it in, because anytime it could rupture the artery. There’s no telling what would happen then,” says Rhonda.

Neisha’s mother says six surgeons examined Neisha, before one who would attempt to operate.

The girl’s family said she was awarded a full ride academic scholarship to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She still plans to attend this fall, according to her aunt.

For now, Neisha’s worried about missing class. “The day she was shot the doctor came in, she says do I have to miss school? He said, ‘no, honey, you’ve just been shot you need to stay in bed,’” said Rhonda.

Neisha is only going to school for a few hours a day, to save strength for next week’s surgery.

Neisha’s mother says the family is doing their best to stay strong. Rhonda says “I’m good. She’s alive that’s what matters.”

Police do not have any suspects in the shooting.

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