Teen paralyzed after drive-by shooting stands up
MIAMI (WSVN) -- An innocent bystander shot during a drive-by shooting and left paralyzed from the waist down is finding the strength to stand again.
Aaron Willis said he is discovering the power of his mind. "It's mind over matter, so if I put my mind to it, my legs will start moving again," he said.
Mom: "You got it?"
Willis' attitude resulted in a milestone in mobility this week. Willis was shot in Wynwood on Dec. 19 while riding his bicycle, but he is now standing. "I get up first and then some of my weight will go down to my legs," said Willis.
Willis pushes himself up using a walker donated by a neighbor. Then he visualizes the weight of his body moving from his arms down to legs. "This is good. This is very good. He's got strength in his arms," said his mother Catherine Beaton.
It's not an easy task, and it requires focus, but Willis attempts it over and over again and does not give up.
Willis: "I'm trying to get all my weight to the muscles in my legs."
Reporter: "Do you practice this a few times a day?"
Willis: "Yeah, just to see how it feels to stand up again."
After spending most of his time sitting in a wheelchair, standing up feels like a reward to him.
Reporter: "What does it feel like to be able to do that?"
Willis: "It feels good to get up."
The exercise requires trust, which creates a special bond between Willis and his parents.
Willis: "You got me?"
Willis: "You sure?"
Willis' dad is proud of his son. "That is the kind of commitment that I've built in him," said Sam Willis. "Don't accept the fact that that is what it is if it can be better, and he's showed me that."
"Every day I think about moving my legs. It takes time, I'll get them to move sooner or later," said Willis.
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