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Paralyzed Boy Looks Forward to Hamburgers, Fried Chicken

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Even after all he's been through, Tyquan smiles
DURHAM — It was a shooting that shocked the Triangle. A 5-year-old boy was paralyzed for life, simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Little Tyquan Mikell was released from Duke Hospital Friday afternoon.

Tyquan and his family will not return to their Few Gardens home. They will stay with an aunt, while the local housing authority equips a handicapped-accessible home for Tyquan.

The shooting has changed Tyquan's life and the life of his family members forever. They have a long and difficult time ahead of them. But Friday, they were just happy to be going home.

Mikell left the hospital for the first time in five weeks. A stray bullet severed his spinal cord during a shooting at Few Gardens, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

Doctors gave Tyquan's mother extensive instructions Friday morning on how to care for the little boy. Hospital employees wheeled out wagons and wheelchairs filled with donated toys. Doctors offered them little hope that Tyquan would ever walk again. But the family is praying for a full recovery.

"We feel that prayer can answer anything," said Tyquan's aunt, Paulette Gilliard. "Hopefully, everyone is praying along with us that he will be able to walk one day."

A fund has been set up at the BB&T in Tyquan's name.Donations can be made an any BB&T branch. The money will be used to pay for his medical expenses and the many years of physical and recreational therapy that he has ahead of him.

Tyquan isn't thinking about all of that Friday. Instead, his aunt says he's more concerned with all of the junk food that he missed while he was in the hospital. Tyquan plans to eat hamburgers, french fries and fried chicken when he gets home.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Mark Copeland, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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