Boy struck by bullet in 2015 continues recovery to get back on football field

INDIANAPOLIS - A boy who was paralyzed since he was eight is continuing to overcome odds as he works to walk on his own again. Ty-Juan Preer, who is now 11, is making progress with his legs as he recovers from getting shot at the end of March 2015.

The boy was left for dead three years ago when a shooter fired at the boy while he was playing outside, near an appliance store where his father works. To this date, no one has been arrested for nearing killing the boy.

Last year, Preer took his first steps.

One year later, thanks to his strength, willpower and physical therapy team at Riley Hospital for Children, Ty-Juan is now able to stand unassisted without braces or a walker and takes steps on a treadmill for 10 minute stretches.

“I’ve came far from where I first been," the 11-year-old said.

Preer's progress has impressed his physical therapist and others he works with at the hospital.

“He’s doing something new every week," said Sarah Johnson, a physical therapist. "Each time he comes in, he’s standing for five more seconds by himself, or he’s able to go for two minutes on the treadmill. He’s able to hit the punching bag 20 more times.”

One of Preer's motivation to keeping up with his workouts and recovery is his wish to play football again one day. During Wednesday's appointment, football players from Marian University surprised the 11-year-old with a visit.

Preer said his next big goal is to be able to walk with the use of his walker.

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