One night in 2009, 14-year-old Ondelee Perteet and a friend went to a party in his hometown of Chicago. He got into an argument and was shot in the face.
When his mother, Detreena, arrived at the hospital, doctors told her he would never move his arms and legs again. She then moved into the hospital with her son and was there for him through each difficult moment.
At StoryCorps, Ondelee tells his mother that while he knows how hard it was for her to see him in a wheelchair, he “felt blessed to have my mama do this for me” and never give up on him.
Ondelee is now enrolled at Malcolm X College in Chicago and plans to start school in January 2014 to study communications, with hopes of becoming a motivational speaker.
Originally aired August 9, 2013, on NPR’s Morning Edition.