FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Recently, McCluer South-Berkeley High School coach Todd Shelton came home after spending seven weeks at a rehabilitation hospital in Chicago.
He told News 4 about the progress he made after he was left paralyzed from the neck down by a gunshot wound.
"A little bit more mobility. Flexibility in the shoulders, strength in my neck,” said Shelton.
Shelton was driving with his fiancé, Jacquie Waters, on Airport Drive in Berkeley on February 16 when their car was hit by gunfire. It’s believed their car was targeted in a case of mistaken identity. One of the bullets struck Shelton in the back and almost killed him.
“From what I was told, I was resuscitated twice, and I woke up in a hospital,” said Shelton.
Shelton graduated from McCluer South-Berkeley High School and has been a coach at the school for seven years. After he was paralyzed, he continued mentoring teens at the school.
"I still have the motivation to go back and help kids in this neighborhood. They go through a lot, it's tough for them,” said Shelton.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Shelton purchase a handicapped accessible van that can accommodate his 6 foot 5 inch frame. Being paralyzed by a bullet changed his life but hasn’t changed his desire to help at-risk teens, and he hopes to use his condition to inspire others.
“If they can see a difficult situation that I'm in right now and I can push through it, I believe they can push through anything," said Shelton.
According to St. Louis County police, a person of interest has been identified in the investigation but no arrests have been made.
A fundraiser is being held Friday, June 28 at the Ferguson Community Center to help with medical expenses.