NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Earlier this year, Harmonese Pleasant, the then-pregnant girlfriend of New Orleans musician and restauranteur Kermit Ruffins, was shot in the stomach while taking a walk outside her home in Treme. Due to the severity of her injuries, doctors conducted an emergency c-section to save both the mother and baby.
The baby, named Blossom, was delivered shortly after at 37 weeks on March 24. However, as Blossom has grown, it was discovered that the baby, now six months old, is partially paralyzed below her waist — a victim of gun violence before her life even began.
“[The bullet] hit Blossom in the spinal cord,” Ruffins told WGNO’s Kenny Lopez.
“Everything went downhill from that point,” Pleasant added.
Doctors with Children’s Hospital New Orleans say Blossom could be paralyzed from the waist down and may not be able to walk when she gets older.
“She’s such a strong personality, she’s spicy. She moves her toes, she moves her legs, but it just is not where it needs to be,” the baby’s mother said.
“Unless a miracle happens, we are just taking it in,” said Ruffins. “We don’t know if she will be able to sit up or walk or anything.”
A GoFundMe account has since been set up to help cover medical costs. In only three days, more than 300 people have donated, collecting over $23,000 for the family. Donate to the family by clicking here.
In the meantime, her parents say Blossom is definitely her father’s daughter. Ruffins is teaching his little girl the ways of being a true New Orleanian, of course including a love for jazz music.
“Hopefully by the age of 8 she will be performing with us on stage at Jazz Fest,” Ruffins said.
But before she hits the stage, Blossom has a long road of recovery ahead.
“We are going to pray and whatever happens she’s going to live a good life,” Ruffins said.
And no matter what, with Ruffins as her father, baby Blossom will always get a lullaby.