ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – A St. Louis man paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in 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 allegedly argued about parking with 69-year-old Larry Thomlison. The confrontation ended with Walker being shot twice.
“I still have my two bullets in my spine,” Walker said. “I felt like it was a curse at first, but I had to look at it as a bigger picture that I couldn’t see.”
Although her case hasn’t progressed much, Walker strives to keep a positive mindset while helping people in her position and others with disabilities. After months of rehabilitation, he has adapted to his new normal. A large part of her journey took place at Paraquad, a center that helps people with disabilities.
“It’s like my haven of peace. Like I felt like I could legitimately come here and not worry about anything,” described Walker, the center which is located south of Forest Park,
Paraquad president Aimee Wehmeier agrees with the local man. She calls the life-changing establishment.
“We’re sort of pioneers in independent living and creating opportunities for people with disabilities,” Wehmeier said.
Sadly, Walker will never be able to walk alone again, but his dreams aren’t over yet.
“I’m also training to qualify for the 2024 Paralympic Games,” added Walker. “I played college basketball. I also played a lot of sports in high school, so I was always competitive. I consider it a second chance.
A second chance that Walker says he wouldn’t have had without Paraquad.
“We rise here, we are a family. They really discover their beauty and their struggle and we help each other,” he said.
For more information on Paraquad, click here.
Copyright 2022 KMOV. All rights reserved.