Drive-by shooting victim left paralyzed
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida student who was the victim of a street shooting is home for the first time in over a month, Thursday.
Aaron Willis has confirmed the bullet wound he sustained during a Dec. 19 street shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down, Thursday. "I can't feel anything below the bellybutton," he revealed.
The Booker T. Washington freshman was riding his bicycle in Miami's Wynwood district when he was shot in the back in a random act of violence. The bullet severed Willis' spinal cord.
The 15-year-old former athlete was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital Thursday. He spent five weeks there, recuperating from the drive-by shooting.
Willis is aware that his paralysis might prevent him from winning another football trophy, but he doesn't dwell on it. "I don't really think about it that much, because I don't want to be down about it," he said, "so I try to stay positive."
Being home has brought a new set of challenges for Willis, like squeezing his wheelchair through small doorways, but Aaron's father is just glad he is back home. "I could have been burying him instead of hoping he is well, and that's what I have to look forward now," said Sammie Willis.
For the next few months, Willis will be home schooled as he gets used to his wheelchair.
He hopes that one day he will be able to get back on the football field.
"If I think about it hard enough, maybe I'll get out of this wheelchair and start walking again," Willis said. "Maybe my brain will be telling my nerves what to do again."
Such an outcome is not likely, but Willis is keeping a positive attitude as he prays for a medical miracle that will have him standing on two feet again. "They say everything happens for a reason, so I guess this happened for a reason," he said.
Police are still looking for the people behind this drive-by shooting. If you have any information, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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