Paralyzed teen overcomes obstacles to graduate - WNEM TV 5

Paralyzed teen overcomes obstacles to graduate

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Lavell Jordan, shot and paralyzed four years ago. Lavell Jordan, shot and paralyzed four years ago.

Lavell Jordan was only 14 when he was the victim of a random shooting that nearly took his life.

"I remember EMS, and that's it," describes Jordan.

Lavell was walking with his mom near the 6800 block of Temple Avenue when suddenly a gunfight broke out between a neighbor and two men in a van.

"I saw Lavell laying on the concrete. I kept calling his name, and he wasn't responding," says Shauntee Barnes. 

Lavell was shot in the neck. 

The 14-year-old, who was recognized by the Mayor because he was such a good student survived, but was left paralyzed.

"I got to depend on people to do stuff for me.  It's hard because I don't like people doing stuff for me," says Jordan.

Four years later, Lavell's mother says this is really the first time he's talking about that fateful day and the uphill battle he's had to climb since. 

"It's been a struggle.  I committed myself to taking care of him as long as I have to.  I don't really go anywhere.  I just stay at home in the house taking care of him," says Barnes.

But this week is a time of celebration. Lavell is about to graduate from Lincoln West High School, but first he'll go to the prom.  Lavell has big plans beyond this.

"Go to College and become a music producer," adds Jordan.

There's a reason why Lavell and his mom wanted us to do this follow up four years later - a message this now 18-year-old of few words has for everyone out there.

"To show my progress and never giving up," says Jordan.

"Now to see him going to prom and graduating, I feel like the two of us accomplished something," adds Barnes.

The two men responsible for randomly shooting Jordan are now in prison. Artez Ladson got nine years; Alton Williams got 12 – relatively light sentences compared to the challenges Jordan will now face for the rest of his life. 

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