FIFTH WARD, La. (KALB) – Fifteen-year-old Drake Guillot has grown up doing what many kids do for fun in Avoyelles Parish – hunting and fishing. “Me and all of my buddies hunt. Every year we always have competitions,” says Drake. However, on December 15, 2019, a tragic accident unfolded that changed the Guillot’s lives forever.
While at a friend’s house, his friend pulled a gun out of his truck and it accidentally went off, sending a bullet through Drake’s abdomen. “It’s the worst phone call that a parent could ever get,” says mother Ruby Guillot. “Right before it happened something said that gun’s going to fire – poof – and then I’m on the ground, can’t feel my legs,” adds Drake.
After a helicopter ride to an Alexandria hospital, along with four surgeries and five days in the pediatric intensive care unit, Drake woke up paralyzed from the waist down. “Drake should not be here,” says Ruby. Drake says, “I’m a miracle I really am.”
Since the incident, the entire family has adjusted to a new normal, including therapy four days a week for Drake so that he can meet his goal to walk at his high school graduation two years from now. “That’s what he would say. Tell me I can’t, and I will show you I can,” says Ruby, reading a poster over Drake’s bed.
However, in between all the doctors’ appointments and even knee surgery for herself, Ruby still finds the time to post videos and photos to a Facebook group she started on gun safety and awareness. “He survived it for a reason, so we’re going to use that reason to make awareness for gun safety,” says Ruby.
“I’m a miracle. I really am.”
Drake says he’ll be back to hunting as soon as he can, with his special all terrain track chair. Mom will be keeping a close eye on him, while spreading her message on the importance of carefully handling guns. and never getting too comfortable around something that can change an entire life in a split second. “Those five minutes that you can take out of your day to check your gun can prevent something like this from happening or prevent another family from going through what we’re going through.”
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