Student attacked by machete graduates from high school, refuses to be a victim

APEX, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The teenager viciously attacked with a machete in January graduated from high school Sunday.

Priyanka Kumari's name was listed as one of the graduates at Holly Springs High School's commencement ceremony but the 18-year-old decided not to attend graduation.

Kumari is still recovering from her wounds and receiving monthly medical treatments on her face, neck, and hands six months after the attack.

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Sunday's graduation ceremony took place at the Raleigh Convention Center.

In January, investigators said after the 18-year-old had gotten off the school bus and was attacked with a machete.

Priyanka Kumari was severely slashed in the machete attack.

Courtesy of Pankaj Kumar





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According to investigators, the attacker was Neel Mehta, a man she had been dating.

However, Kumari's father, Pankaj Kumar, said Mehta wasn't dating his daughter but stalking her.

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The 20-year-old has been charged with attempted murder.

Kumar said his daughter wanted to keep a low profile on graduation day and stay away from the ceremony.

"She decided to be aloof at the event because she didn't want the image to be betrayed as a victim," Kumar said. "She thinks that she has a life ahead of her and she's gone through a lot of trauma, so she's still recovering from it."

Now that she's graduated, he said her plan is to pursue a two-year associate degree in science from Wake Technical Community College before enrolling at a local university.

Her ultimate plan is to get a degree in dermatology, a goal she had set before the attack.
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