'He gave me life': Kansas City man thanks gunman for crippling h - KCTV5 News

'He gave me life': Kansas City man thanks gunman for crippling him

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CrossFit is intense, grueling and pushes you to your limits.  For Wesley Hamilton, it’s been life-changing. (KCTV5) CrossFit is intense, grueling and pushes you to your limits. For Wesley Hamilton, it’s been life-changing. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

CrossFit is intense, grueling and pushes you to your limits, but for Wesley Hamilton, it’s been life-changing.

“CrossFit is life," he said.

Life could have been a lot shorter for Hamilton.

On Jan. 14, 2012, he was walking back to his car and was shot multiple times in his abdomen.

“When I turned around I was looking at a guy I’ve never seen in my life. Never had an altercation, never had a stare down ... anything. ” Hamilton said.

That guy went to jail, but it was Hamilton's life that changed forever. He was paralyzed from the waist down.

“I literally thought I was going to die. There were no other thoughts besides, 'This is it.' Full of regrets. Full of everything," Hamilton said.

Hamilton had just received sole custody of his 2-year-old daughter, Nevaeh.

He was now a  single dad, depressed and on bed rest for 21-hours a day.  

“For 21 hours, she saw me defeated and it was about that time I had to overcome that and say, 'If I can’t do it for myself, I have to do it for her.' Thankfully, I thought that way because I just took off," Hamilton said.

He was obese. At 5'4" tall and weighing 230 pounds, Hamilton was determined and started eating differently and working out. He lost 100 pounds in a year.

“Don’t let your struggle be your identity ... anything you go through you can overcome," he advises.

He’s now an adaptive athlete, bodybuilder and motivational speaker and not to mention one heck of a father.

“My daughter doesn’t see a disability. She sees strength. It’s great especially when you come from a place where you thought you (weren't) going to be that type of father. Take her to the park, take her swimming and now I’m doing that and beyond.”

When Hamilton looks back on that January day six years ago, he’s thankful.  

Hamilton said the shooter was his blessing.

"He gave me life when he tried to take my life. If that didn’t happen, I don’t know who I would be, but I never knew who I was until I was paralyzed."

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