One year later, Alaska man continues recovering from Puerto Rico shooting
It's been an emotional and trying year for former Anchorage Cowboys player Kendric Tyler and his wife Kenyada Tyler.
The couple was celebrating their marriage with a 2018 cruise that included a stop in Puerto Rico, but their life together took an unexpected turn on May 1.
Kendric, then 34, was shot in the neck as he protected Kenyada from an armed robber on the streets of San Juan.
Initially, doctors said he would never be able to move again.
One year later, Kendric is proving them wrong.
"I've gained mobility and function in my arms," he said Thursday. "At first, I had very little to none when it first happened. I'm progressing. I'm now in therapy, in outpatient therapy."
Kendric has been recovering in South Carolina, where he and Kenyada currently live. They continue to try and maintain a positive outlook despite the difficult road they’ve traveled this year.
In addition, they’re turning their attention to helping others and bringing awareness to spinal cord injuries.
"We're actually working on trying to start a nonprofit organization that will be able to help families transition from regular life to trying to live with a spinal cord injury," Kenyada explained. "We're going to call it Beyond the Cord, and it's pretty much just saying you can live beyond the spinal cord injury.”
Kenyada says she and Kendric want to show people they can still find happiness and joy in the midst of difficult, life-changing circumstances.
“A lot of people fall into depression because to go from being 100% independent to being 100% nonindependent and depending on other people can really put you in a bad place,” she said.
The Tylers say their faith in God and the support from friends and family in Alaska have helped them cope with last year's tragedy and inspired Kendric in his recovery.
He says that, with God’s help, he’s going to keep moving forward.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for a handicap-accessible vehicle for Kendric.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Kendric Tyler played for the Anchorage Bucs baseball team.
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