Avoyelles Parish teenager making progress on goal to walk again after gun accident
“Everything is just moving in a positive direction.”
FIFTH WARD, La. (KALB) - On December 15, 2019, teenager Drake Guillot of Avoyelles Parish was left paralyzed after a gun his friend was holding accidentally fired, sending a bullet into his abdomen. After the incident, his mother, Ruby Guillot, started a Facebook page where she posts videos advocating for gun safety and awareness.
Shortly after the accident, Guillot made the goal to walk across the stage at his high school graduation in 2023. Since then, he’s been working hard to accomplish that goal with the help of his mom, dad, and little brother. He was accepted into a special rehabilitation program at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore in the fall of 2020, but was turned away after testing positive for COVID-19, even though he didn’t have any symptoms.
Guillot returned to Kennedy Krieger in February 2021 for five weeks of intensive physical therapy. His therapists helped him learn to move his legs using his hips, and he was was fitted with orthotics for his legs. While there, Guillot worked on his goal to stand up and give a hug.
Just this week, Guillot finally achieved his goal of standing up and hugging his father JR for the first time in a year and a half. His parents were surprised to see just how tall he’s grown since the accident- towering over his dad at 6 feet, four inches tall.
His next goal is to begin walking again using a walker. He’s currently attending physical therapy locally to work on building his arm strength so that he can accomplish this goal. He’ll also return to Kennedy Krieger in July for a two-week follow up session.
“I feel great. I feel amazing. I’ve got to see things with Drake at Kennedy Krieger that just blew my mind,” said Drake’s mother, Ruby.
She says the progress Drake has made in the last several months is leaving him feeling more like a normal teenager. He’s now 16 years old and in the tenth grade. He’s gotten his driver’s license, returned to school, rides his four wheeler, and does fun activities like swimming with his friends- who are always looking out for him.
“Everything is just moving in a positive direction,” added Ruby.
Ruby said Drake still has a goal to walk across the stage by the time he finishes high school. It’s a goal she’s certain is going to happen thanks to all of the hard work Drake has put in.
“It’s not if but when, because I’ve seen him do it. As a mom I’m more than proud of him. Not to mention his little brother. His little brother has been such a motivation to him.”
Click here to report a typo.
Copyright 2021 KALB. All rights reserved.