SOUTH HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Carlos Williams didn't think he was ever going to walk or talk again, let alone open his own gym in the city where he grew up in.
Williams, the co-owner of Houston Explosive Fitness in South Houston, opened the gym to train young athletes in the area with dreams of going professional.
"I grew up maybe two, three miles from here. I just want to come back to my neighborhood and community just to help out," Williams said.
About eight years ago, Williams was at college football practice when he suffered a heat stroke. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors told him news that changed his life.
"My kidneys shut down, I was in a coma for six weeks. The doctors said I probably wouldn't be able to walk again," Williams said.
Two years later he was able to play college football again, something he thought wouldn't be possible. But that led him to follow his true passion and something he wishes he had growing up in South Houston.
"Once upon a time, I was in their shoes. That's why I opened up the gym, to get opportunities for them to take it to the next level. For me, when I worked out and trained to try and play college football, I just did it by myself. I just want to give them an opportunity from me to learn and excel," Williams said.
The athletes that train with Williams said his story encourages them to believe in themselves and do better. Harrison Black, a basketball player at Louisiana State University of Alexandria said training with Williams and hearing his story has made a difference.
"All the stuff that he went through and overcame, he just kept working to where he's at today," Black said.
Another one of Williams' athletes is 9-year-old Isabella, a softball and flag-football player in the area, who said she has fun every time she trains with him.
"He has a lot of fun drills. He's tough on us but nice. He pushes us to be really good," Isabella said.
Williams is grateful to those who believed in his passion, and he thanks his former intermediate school football coach Ryan Butler, who now takes his two kids to train with Williams.
"These kids learn life lessons from Carlos. It is truly a blessing what they have going on here. A lot of these kids don't have the opportunity to go other places to workout. Now with this facility, they do have that opportunity," Butler said.
Williams said he's blessed to be where he's at right now, and able to come back to where it all started to help young athletes in his community.
"Everything happens for a reason, and I feel like this is my purpose. In life, you're going to have different obstacles. You can overcome them," Williams said.
For more information visit the Houston Explosive Fitness website.
Former college athlete survives heat stroke that put him in coma for 6 weeks
More TOP STORIES News