Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal is paying it forward by helping an Atlanta family impacted by a horrific incident. O’Neal has gifted the family of a youngster who was left paralyzed after a shooting with an accessible home, People reported.
Isaiah Payton, 12, was struck by a stray bullet on August 17 following a football game. The gunshot wound paralyzed his body from the chest down and he has been hospitalized ever since the tragic situation occurred. After learning about Isaiah’s story, O’Neal felt compelled to step in and help his family. He decided to find an accessible home for the family and pay their rent for an entire year in an effort to alleviate financial burdens.
“I was watching the story and it’s just sad. It could have been any one of us. It could have been my son. It could’ve been your cousin and she was living in a one-bedroom apartment with her two boys so we found her a house in College Park. Nice area,” he said in a statement, according to 11 Alive. “I’m going to get her some ring cameras on me. We’re going to give her some furniture, TVs and pay her rent off for a year and help her get on her feet.”
Other organizations and individuals have stepped up to support the family including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the City of Atlanta Fire Department. “Imagine sending your child to a football game and your child does what young men like to do: be athletic, have fun, be around their friends. Imagine just a few hours later, getting a call that your child has been shot,” Bottoms said in a statement. “Isaiah played in a game earlier that day. He ended that day fighting for his life.” As for the case surrounding the shooting, a 15-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.