SAN ANTONIO – One year ago Thursday, little Braylon Nelson was paralyzed from the neck, down, in a car accident caused by two road rage drivers.
He couldn’t talk, eat or move except to blink his eyes.
Now, the three-year-old is going to school, talking nonstop and might be able to walk again someday.
News 4 WOAI saw his progress at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, formerly Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.
“Can you feel that?” a doctor asks Braylon. “Yep,” the toddler says.
He’s surrounded by doctors and nurses. Most kids might be scared but Braylon’s just telling stories.
"She said, oh my, the sky is falling. And she was going to tell the king,” he recounts from a fairy tale book.
“That’s his most favorite thing to do is read,” his grandmother Rhodena Matthews says.
She says Braylon’s grown smarter and stronger.
"He just keeps fighting every day,” Matthews says. “He'll tell me every day he comes from therapy, 'I work real hard.' And I know he does."
He has around-the-clock care at home and attends therapy at the hospital twice a week.
"Can you feel the floor when your feet are on the floor?" a doctor asks. “Yep,” Braylon responds.
Doctors are making adjustments to his new wheelchair.
"This looks like it fits pretty darn well,” one doctor says.
“They take him outside sometimes,” Matthews says. “He’s riding a bicycle.”
She never thought she’d say the day when he could ride a bicycle again.
“I just think it's so amazing they have a bicycle,” Matthews says. “Technology's amazing."
It’s a miracle, especially when Matthews stops to remember how hopeless life seemed just one year ago.
"When I first woke up this morning and I realized what day it was, I just started crying,” she says.
Yet Braylon keeps smiling, and his “Nana” Matthews says that’s the little boy’s secret to not just surviving, but living.
"Strength,” Matthews says. “Strength and courage. That little boy. At three years old he has more strength in his whole body than I probably have in my middle finger."
But Braylon still needs San Antonio’s strength. His family wants him to get special medical care out of state for his spinal cord injuries.
To do that, they're holding a walkathon fundraiser this Saturday morning at 7 a.m. at the Kirby Baptist Church at 5114 Seguin Road.
Donations can also be made at the Braylon Nelson Fund website
or mailed to:
Braylon Nelson Fund
P.O. Box 23646
San Antonio, TX 78223
The drivers who caused the accident that left Braylon paralyzed have never been caught or punished. Matthews says she hopes every time they see Braylon on the news, they feel remorseful.