Random shooting victim hopes to walk again and inspire others

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by Yetta Gibson

Bio | Email | Follow: @yettagibson

azfamily.com

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 1 at 10:40 PM

PHOENIX -- Random shootings are becoming more and more common.

Every time there is a report on the news about them, it's especially hard for Josh Rivers. He's hoping what he's doing to help himself will inspire other victims.

"I knew what was going on i just had to keep my eyes shut," Josh said, as he recalls the random shooting he was involved in almost two years ago.

"I'm just laying on the floor waiting for a sign that everything’s safe," he added.

Multiple shots rang out at the Great Alaskan Bush Company, late December 2010. Josh was hit three times, bullets riddled his body, through his arms, chest, but the one in the spine left him paralyzed. He is now in a wheel chair.

"It felt like a dream," Josh said.

Doctors told him he would never walk again.

About two weeks after the shooting, still in his hospital bed, Josh watched in horror as news of another random shooting happened in Tucson.

That shooting nearly killed Representative Gabriel Giffords. 

With the most recent random shooting in that Colorado movie theater, Josh said there is one thing he knows for sure.

"You never know...You don't know. It can be anyone. You don’t know what’s going through their minds," he stated.

Josh didn't know his shooter. There was no fight. No altercation. Police said the suspect just randomly fired six rounds from his revolver.

Before Josh was paralyzed, he was a normal college student, looking forward to becoming a nurse.

So, when he miraculously regained some movement in his left leg, Josh started researching about his condition, and found out about the Bioness. It's a device his doctors say could help him walk again.

The Bioness is a device designed for patients with a range of disorders, including spinal cord Injuries. The Bioness uses electrical stimulation to help people regain mobility.

Josh posted a video describing what happened to him, and on the video he asks for donations, hoping to raise the $7,000 he needs to purchase the Bioness.

In only days of posting his video, Josh got more than a thousand views on Youtube, and more than $700 dollars in donations came in.

"I'm hoping I will be able to walk again," Josh said.

He's still waiting on more donations, but more importantly he wants people to learn something from his experience, and from all of the random shootings we've seen.

"To the people who have experience this..be very thankful you are still alive. To the people who haven’t, just know it can happen anywhere anytime, and it can change your life in the blink of an eye," Josh said.

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