Rehab center helps paralyzed 6-year-old be a kid again

DOWNEY, California -- A rehabilitation center is helping a boy who was shot and paralyzed from the chest down in January progress faster than doctors thought was possible.

The staff at Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center in Downey assists patients like Willie Young III, also known as "Three," with physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy and more. Employees are helping to teach "Three" how to be a kid again.

"He was active before, he's going to be active again, so that's the fun part because we get to do that as a team," said recreation therapist Julie Helgren.

"Three" was paralyzed after being shot outside a family gathering at his home in Inglewood on Jan. 7. Four shots were fired that night, and the only one hit was the youngest one there.

"Three's" parents are being treated by Rancho as well, even if they do not fully realize it.

"Thinking back then, I didn't think this was possible, but it is," said Eureka Young, "Three's" mother

Rancho Los Amigos gets about 100 new patients each year. The facility wants to increase that number. They said they reached out to the Department of Veterans Affairs to get vets admitted as patients for the same treatment and results as young "Three."

"Now, it's not even about the disability as much as it is finding the things he wants to do," said Willie Young Jr., "Three's" father.

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