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21-year-old woman left paralyzed by ex-boyfriend now encouraging others to leave toxic relationships

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Posted at 8:12 AM, Jan 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-16 09:12:35-05

By Kimberly Craig

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Kiam Amatulla was excited about her future. She was looking forward to turning 21, had already graduated from cosmetology school, and had a job working for a tool supplier in Sterling Heights. Kiam had also found the strength to leave her boyfriend of three years and their relationship she described as "toxic."

"I didn't even realize this not love," said Kiam who survived being shot by that ex-boyfriend on November 6.

Kiam wishes she had ended the relationship earlier last year when, over a petty squabble, he cocked a gun to intimidate her. Kiam said she forgave him after he apologized, believing he would never hurt her physically, but, she says, the mental abuse never stopped.

"I look back and that was my cue to leave," said Kiam.

Kiam, who is now paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, is now sharing her story in hopes that others will leave abusive or toxic relationships before it's too late.

On November 6, Kiam went to work and could see that her ex-boyfriend was following her. He'd called her about 200 times overnight. She didn't take his calls because this time, she knew she was done.

Kiam said she was just fed up with the arguing, and she says the only time he was happy was when she was miserable.

Kiam parked at work and began to walk into the building when her ex-boyfriend confronted her in the parking lot. And he had a gun again.

Kiam told him she didn't want to be with him anymore and said she begged him to leave and go to work himself.

"The last thing he said to me before he shot me was, "If I can't have you, no one else can.'"

Kiam fell to the ground. Police said her ex-boyfriend then took his own life.

The shooting left Kiam paralyzed from the waist down.

"It's way more to it than just not walking. I need assistance to get in the shower. The way I go to the restroom is different now," said a tearful Kiam who never imagined her life would be so drastically.

She welcomed her 21st birthday while in the hospital.

Doctors gave Kiam a pass to spend Christmas at home where her new reality really set in when her cousins had to lift her up the stairs in her wheelchair.

"Love is powerful and love is strong, but it's not worth your life or you being hurt. Let it go," said Kiam who said doctors have given her no more than a 6% chance at walking again.

She has also started a GoFundMe account for financial assistance so that she can move to handicap accessible housing and modify her vehicle in hopes of regaining some amount of independence.

"I don't want nobody, young or old, to end up like me," said Kiam who is currently living with a relative in an upstairs bedroom. "Every day is hard to me." 

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