BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s being called a ‘walk’ to remember. A Birmingham woman, using a wheelchair, spends weeks secretly preparing for a grand entrance into her birthday party.
It’s an entrance that is taking social media by storm.
Back in 2007, LaShundra Glenn Smith was shot two times by her then-husband. She was shot one time in the back and one time in the thigh.
Smith immediately felt the feeling go away in her legs. She’s been paralyzed for close to 11 years.
The former track star has four kids and did not expect to be able to walk ever again.
“The person that said they loved me then shot me and I never a thought that this would ever happen to me, you know, I didn’t know the signs because I’d never been in a domestic violent relationship or around it,” she said.
Smith was inspired by YouTube videos of other paraplegic people using leg braces to walk. She then asked her doctors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham if she could use the same thing.
After some bone density tests, she was given the green light. In September, she was fitted for new leg braces and started learning how to use them during physical therapy sessions twice a week.
“When he said well you’ll start off on a walker, I said, start off on a walker, so I’m like ok that means I’m going to possibly be moving my legs walking,” said Smith.
Smith secretly started working on a new goal with her physical therapist. She wanted to walk into her birthday party celebration this year.
“You know I just wanted to surprise them,” said Smith. “I didn’t want to tell nobody. They were surprised, especially my kids they had no earthly idea. My daughter was like, momma, I was wondering why you were going to the doctor so much. I just kept telling her I got a doctors appointment… I got a doctors appointment.”
Smith managed to surprise a group of her closest friends and family as she walked into her 43rd birthday dinner celebration.
“To take steps in there and to see their faces was just priceless because it hasn’t been just me going through this, my kids my support system, I have a great support system,”said Smith.
Smith continues to work with her physical therapist. She wants to eventually work on putting more weight on her braces, gain more control of her upper body and then walk without assistance.
On top of that, she’s gone back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. That was a surprise to her family as well.
Smith spends her time speaking to youth about what she experienced in hopes she can prevent a similar incident from happening to someone else.