SAN ANTONIO -- An Alamo Heights basketball player paralyzed from the neck down when he was shot in a road rage incident in March will soon be ready to leave the hospital. But it's going to take a lot of work for Eddie Moreno's family to be able to bring him home.
The shooting will forever change their lives. Moreno is still in the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital, but is expected to be released back home in the next few months.
"I see this and it hurts," said Eddie's Aunt Stella Moreno, motioning to Eddie's bedroom. "It hurts because he's never going to be able to touch a ball again."
The Alamo Heights high athlete who helped lead his team to near-victory was living on top of the world. But the life Eddie Moreno once knew was shattered in an instant. While is recovering in the hospital, his room at home is filled with the basketballs he'll never again be able to dribble, alongside the cap and gown he won't be able to boast with pride at Thursday's graduation.
The bullet that went through Eddie' cheek and shattered his jaw is still lodged in his spine. Now permanently paralyzed, he's on a ventilator for life and left without a voice.
"You want to hear his voice," said Eddie's Aunt Kelly Blake, breaking down into tears. "You want to hear his laugh. And you're not going to be able to hear it. That's the hardest thing."
Just as hard, is the devastating effect the violent tragedy has had on Eddie's family. Eddie's mother, who had to quit her job after the shooting, now spends most of her time accompanying her son in the hospital. Other family members take shifts at the home, helping out with Eddie's three younger brothers.
Another challenge, is preparing the home Eddie grew up in to accommodate his disabilities.
"He really does want to come home to be with his brothers, his mom, and his dad," commented Blake. But that won't be possible without major renovations. The outside stairway to get into the home will need to be converted into a ramp. The front door will need to be widened. And the hallway that leads to Eddie's bedroom is also too narrow for a wheelchair.
"It won't fit thought here," commented Moreno. "He won't even be able to go into his room."
Eddie will also need a restroom that is handicap accessible. And a bedroom expansion to make room for his life-sustaining equipment. "Electricity," added Moreno. "We need to rewire the whole house, because of the fact that he is going to be hooked up to a ventilator for the rest of his life."
After months in the hospital, the Moreno family is overwhelmed with medical bills. The vital home modifications are expected to cost thousands of dollars more. Thus, they're hoping that companies, organizations, or citizens may be able to step up and help donate time or material.
You can find information on how to contact his family on his Facebook page
The family has also set up a benefit account at Broadway Bank. You can make a donation at any location in town, under the "Eddie Moreno Jr. Trust Fund."