Teen back in school after being shot, paralyzed
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A teen living with paralysis after someone shot him last year returned to high school for the first time after the incident.
Aaron Willis was left paralyzed from the waist down after a bullet severed his spinal cord as he rode his bike in Wynwood, back in December 2012. He had been wanting to go back to school since then, but his doctors said he needed time to recover.
Thanks to home schooling and a good attitude, he started the 10th grade on time, Monday.
The last time Willis went to school he could walk out of his Overtown home. "It's my first time going to school in a wheelchair," said Willis. "I am not nervous, cause I know everyone there. I don't have a reason to be nervous."
Although Willis has been anxious to get back to class, his return is emotional for his parents. "To watch his little body shrinking away from inactivity, it hurts," said Willis' father, Sammie Willis. "To watch someone help him do this, do that, when he was so independent himself, it hurts."
His mother Katherine said, "It's great. He's ready. I am ready, kinda nervous, because this is the first day, but he is ready, and I'm ready."
At Booker T. Washington High School, Willis received a warm welcome from the principal himself. "It's great to see Aaron back. He is a wonderful young man," said Principal William Aristide. "He was a very good student when he was here last year. He is an example of one who continues to push and strive and do well."
Willis said he does not expect any special treatment. "I expect to be treated regular, like when I had legs. I expect to get around real easy," said Willis.
But what won't be easy will be sitting on the sidelines. Willis will no longer be able to play football or run track because of the bullet that struck him down.
His father said it will affect him and his family for the rest of their lives. "The rascals that fired that bullet don't have the slightest idea the real damage they did," said the elder Willis. "They near killed him. That one bullet that went in him messed with a lot of people."
The person who fired the gun has not been found.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)