MIAMI (CBSMiami) – December 19th marks one year since 16-year-old Aaron Willis’ life was changed forever.
The high school student was left paralyzed after being shot in the back while riding his bike near his home. One year later, he still has hopes of one day playing football again.
Aaron Willis told CBS4`s Jamie Guirola, “it feels pretty good because I ain’t got no sensation in my legs and I can still walk.”
Out of a wheelchair and into leg braces, the 16-year-old is back on his feet making strides in his rehabilitation and taking steps for the first time since taking a bullet that paralyzed him from the waist down.
“I couldn’t, I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t sit at a 90 degree angle or nothing….and I had two tubes coming out of me so now I’m walking and standing up so it feels good,” Aaron said.
Aaron is literally standing against all odds for a full recovery. It’s almost certain he’ll never be able to walk on his own again but that’s not stopping him from trying.
Aaron said, “yeah I wanna try and get back up and walk by myself without the braces…like when I start feeling my legs”
Last December Aaron was shot during a drive by shooting. Today he’s back in school, getting around and getting things done.
His journey of determination and strength brings his supportive mother and father to tears.
Sammie Willis, his father said, “Yes it is. They are really tears of joy to see my boy walking again. It’s something I never really expected to see and I never expected anything like this to happen to Aaron.”
Aaron’s recovery at Jackson Rehabilitation Center includes therapy twice a week, and swimming. He hopes to eventually play football again. But in the meantime he’ll settle for making a difference in somebody else’s life.
“Maybe it’s other kids out there like me that really know how it feels and they can watch me and they can learn from me…learn from what I do,” Aaron said.
When Guirola asked Aaron what it was like to return to school he said, “It’s the same. I just cant walk.”
A year later, his case has gone cold as police have yet found the person responsible for shooting Aaron.