ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – A St. Louis man paralyzed from the waist down after being shot during a 2019 dispute in St. Charles isn’t giving up on his dream.
In 2019, Jaylen Walker was dropping off a package at Target in St. Charles while driving for Amazon when he reportedly got into argument over parking with Larry Thomlison, 69. The confrontation ended with Walker getting shot twice.
“I have both of my bullets still in my spine,” Walker said. “I felt like it was a curse at first, but I had to look at it as a whole vision I wasn’t able to see at.”
Although his case hasn’t made much progress, Walker is focused on keeping a positive mindset while helping people in his position and others with disabilities. After months of rehab, he adjusted to his new normal. A big part of his journey happened at Paraquad, a center that assists people with disabilities.
“It’s like my safe haven. Like I feel like I could legit come in here and not worry about anything,” Walker described the center which is located south of Forest Park,
Paraquad President Aimee Wehmeier agrees with the local man. She calls the facility life-changing.
“We kind of are pioneers in independent living and creating opportunity for people with disabilities,” Wehmeier said.
Unfortunately, Walker will never be able to walk on his own again but his dreams aren’t over yet.
“I’m also training to qualify for the 2024 Paralympics,” Walker added. “I played college basketball. I also played numerous sports in high school, so I was always competitive. I look at this as a second chance.”
A second chance Walker says he wouldn’t have had without Paraquad.
“We uplift each other here, we are family. They’re really just finding their beauty and their struggle and we’re helping each other,” he said.
For more information about Paraquad, click here.
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