MIAMI (CBS4) – A young South Florida man paralyzed by a bullet is inspiring others with his strength. Fifteen-year-old Aaron Willis was shot in Midtown in December of 2012, and has been getting used to life without the use of his legs.
“I used to be mad just to look at my legs see they’re not moving,” said Willis. “It’s easy now but before it used to be hard getting in and out of bed, moving around.”
Willis met with a group of spinal cord injury patients at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne Thursdsay. The rehab program organized by Jackson Memorial Hospital organized the outing with activities like hand-cycling and a barbeque to help the group get active and become more independent.
Some of the patients were injured in car crashes, others are victims of gun violence.
“We plan these outings outdoors so they get the opportunity to practice the things they’re learning in the gym outside, endurance and cardio,” said Cathy Herring, a recreational therapist with Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Thirty-seven-year-old Keyiones King helped grill burgers and hot dogs for the group. King was paralyzed from the chest down after being shot nine times during a robbery in May 2012.
King said the rehab program is helping him get stronger, and watching Willis helps him stay positive.
“Especially being so young and being able to deal with it, it’s definitely inspiring to me and everybody else,” said King.
“It doesn’t matter what the situation is, it’s how you take it, it’s what you make of it,” said Willis. “Some lady came up to me and told me I was her hero. I was happy because I have never been anybody’s hero.”