October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Amanda Baez

In honor of Johnny Hackler III

An angry man outside a bar nearly took the life of my brother-in-law one night. Johnny got in his car to get away from the situation, when the man opened fire on the car, with Johnny and another man inside. With more than a handful of shots fired, Johnny was hit by a bullet in his back. The gunshot collapsed his lungs, and no one expected him to live. The injury to his T2 vertebra left him paralyzed from the chest down for weeks. The bullet fragments are still there. After more than a month in the hospital, he moved to rehab, where he relearned how to walk. He went home to his daughter with a walker and was unable to do the work that he had been doing for years to make a living. We are utterly grateful we didn’t lose a dear loved one, but so hurt and angry at everything that man took from him.

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