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6 years after nearly dying in shooting local woman set to graduate

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    MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — It has been six years since a shooting nearly killed Kearria Freed. The soon to be South Alabama graduate is beating the odds and even her own expectations.

“You have to find hope in your detours in life,” she said. “You have to make good out of the bad.”

Kearria was one of seven students shot at a Spring Break party in Panama City Beach in 2015. She was shot in the head and doctors were worried she would not survive the night.

“If I would have believed everything that was told to me along the way, I wasn’t going to make it through the night, I couldn’t walk again, I couldn’t talk, things like that I wouldn’t be as far as I am today,” she said.

The last time we met Kearria was two years ago at her Bishop State graduation. This Saturday she is set to do it again, this time walking across South Alabama’s stage.

This new achievement years in the making and her 3-year-old service dog Darling will be with her.

“I have overcome so much and I have worked so hard and my hard work has finally payed off,” Freed said.

Her mom Madonna Burden will be cheering her on this Saturday and there is a 100 percent chance of tears.

“I couldn’t be prouder then any parent of any student graduating for that fact, but a little bit more special with her because of everything that we’ve gone through over the past 6 years,” she said.

Despite a traumatic brain injury, Kearria has done amazing at South. She has won awards and is an active member of two honor societies.

“I knew I could achieve this goal, but I didn’t think it would happen this fast,” she said. “It’s really a blessing.”

Kearria is still not done with school yet. She is now going to get a Master’s Degree in rehabilitation counseling.

She also has started the Kearria Kares Foundation to help other young adults who have survived traumatic brain injuries.

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