CAMILLA, GA (WALB) - After a freak accident, a Camilla boy was left paralyzed. And the pain his family has endured after learning 13-year-old David Chapman was paralyzed is very evident.
However, they said his big personality is shining through.
The family said before this happened, David was celebrating his 13th birthday, doing what he loves.
“He loved to hunt, he loves to fish. I mean he could out shoot me and his daddy in the bird field," said his aunt, Sherry Casterline.
Casterline said David and his friends would sharpen their skills every weekend shooting cans and his birthday weekend was no exception.
“It’s just something they did every weekend. They just go outside and shoot cans,” said Casterline.
However, everything took a turn for the worst when the pellet rifle, laying on a truck bed, spontaneously went off.
The pellet hit David in the skull, lodging into his vertebrae, where doctors have decided to leave it.
Casterline, who lives just down the street, was in complete shock when she learned the severity of his accident.
“It was shocking. I mean to know that he loves to be outside. He’s a 13-year-old child, and to know that his life, it totally changed for the rest of his life," said Casterline .
David is currently being treated at Tallahassee Memorial. The family said his parents haven’t left his side since the accident.
When David’s second cousin Becky Griffin first visited him, she was overcome with sadness.
“It’s sad, I mean, but, his will, he’s fighting,” said Griffin.
David can swallow on his own again but he still relies on a ventilator. There are plans to transport David to a hospital in Atlanta for more specific care.
In light of this tragedy, the family has started a few fundraisers. One way you can get involved is by buying #TeamDavidLee T-shirts. If you’re interested, you can contribute to a fundraising account at PNC Bank in Camilla.
Future fundraisers will be released once dates have been confirmed.