OAKLAND PARK (CBS4) – Christine Kent’s story is one of survival and inspiration.
Back in 2007, the Oakland Park woman was living her dream life. She was working, traveling and planning to have a family with her longtime boyfriend.
“I really, really loved life to the fullest,” Kent remembered. “And my life changed in an instant.”
In August of that year an acquaintance, Allan Sinclair, showed up at her front door around ten in the evening.
Kent let Sinclair in to talk and he said he wanted to show her some pictures.
But then the unthinkable happened.
“He walked around to the back of the couch to get his computer bag and he pulled out a gun and held it to my head and said you’re not gonna feel anything. I’m not going to hurt you,” said Kent. “I was scared for my life and I thought this is not how I want to go out.”
At that moment Kent found the courage to break free from Sinclair’s grip and run.
“And then I screamed ‘help’,” recalled Kent. “He panicked and opened fire. The second bullet blasted through my spine, I was paralyzed in mid-air.”
Then when Sinclair got in his truck and backed his front tire over Kent’s body.
Sinclair fled the scene and then came back within minutes, grabbed her by the ankles and dragged her across the driveway to hide her behind the hedges.
Sinclair was apprehended the next day.
He pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder in October 2009 and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
But as Kent said at the sentencing, Sinclair sentenced her to a lifetime in a wheelchair.
“My prayers were answered and I did survive, but it was a long road to recovery,” said Kent.
There were months of painful and grueling rehabilitation for Kent.
But now, more than three and years after her attack, Kent is making a difference. She gives motivational speeches and promotes disability awareness. She’s also taken up hand cycling and recently completed her sixth marathon.
“I had to let go of anger and hatred. I needed all of my strength to focus on my surviving,” she said. “Life goes on and you need to make the best of your circumstances, focus on the positive and that will bring you up.”
Kent hopes her story will inspire others to make the most of their lives, helping others and contribute something good to society.
She is thankful that she is at least able to use her upper body.
To assist with her uninsured injury-related expenses, a fundraising campaign was established with the Catastrophic Injury Program of the National Transplant Assistance Fund, or NTAF.