CHICAGO (CBS) — Now to a story you’ll see only on CBS 2: The emotional, financial and very human cost of gun violence.
Nearly a year after he was paralyzed by a bullet, Lamont Farrell is talking about his “new normal.”
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has the story from Washington Heights.
Farrell was standing in an alleyway when he was shot in his back, changing his life forever.
Lamont Farrell’s home aide assists him from his bed to a chair. A technician comes to repair his wheelchair. It’s a glimpse into Farrell’s life nearly one year after a bullet claimed his ability to walk.
“I never expected it. I’m just dealing with that, you know? You never wake up and you think ‘this will be your last day walking.'” Farrell said.
On August 8 of last year, Farrell and his friend Stoney Bey had just finished painting a home. The professional painters were in an alley near 105th and Peoria when a gunman opened fire.
Bey was killed. Farrell, shot in the back, was left paralyzed from his navel down. Bullet holes are still visible in garage siding and a nearby recycling container.
“It’s very emotional, you know? I never thought at the end of my day, a long working day, that this would be last day that I would be walking,” Farrell said.
Now unable to work, his medical care in the past 11 months has totaled more than $100,000. He has public aid. Doctors have told the father of three he has a 5% chance of walking again.
But he’s determined to do it.
“Using the bathroom, I’ve got to have help. Eating, cooking meals for me. I am so used to doing everything on my own,” Farrell said. “It’s just a rough transition but I’m strong individual.”
Farrell had this message for young people when it comes to gun violence.
“Put the gun down. Talk it out,” Farrell said. “Problems can’t be that bad that you want to kill the next person and then your life is over just as well as their’s.”
Chicago police said it’s still investigating the shooting. No one has been arrested.