Wesley Hamilton’s response to the best thing that has ever happened to him may surprise you.  

Before he was shot, Wesley Hamilton rarely smiled.  

Hamilton, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, ran with a tough crew and had a perpetually pessimistic attitude toward the world. Everything changed on Jan. 14, 2012, when Hamilton was shot in the abdomen and left paralyzed from the waist down.  

The first thought after being shot that came up in his mind was that he would not live anymore. He told CNN, “I laid on that ground taking my last breaths, having regrets about life, because it wasn’t until that moment that I realized I had never lived.”  

A prolonged period of recovery:  

That night in 2012, Hamilton was shot numerous times, resulting in incomplete spinal cord damage.  

Hamilton felt useless and hopeless. Sadly, he was diagnosed with a pressure ulcer on his tailbone a year later due to the extended hours of sitting. It seemed life was now not easy for him anymore. After six surgeries, doctors prescribed him to spent the next two years in bed.  

“I wasn’t at a place where I enjoyed who I was when I came to MidAmerica. “I was battling demons,” he explained while talking to CNN. “I was at a loss as to how to live this life. I figured there was no way I could be a single parent in a wheelchair.”  

Due to the challenges over and over again, Hamilton became overweight, depressed, and suicidal. But then, his daughter, Navaeh, became his lifeline ultimately. According to him, he wanted to be a better person and a better father.  

His daughter is his ray of hope, and his love for her inspired him to take control of his life. Finally, he decided to turn back to life with more courage and enrolled in community college to attend a nutrition course.   

He scheduled a healthy eating routine and started weightlifting. With his continuous struggle, Hamilton amazingly lost 100 pounds within a year. But this was just the beginning. He became the certified adaptive CrossFit instructor and an award-winning adaptive athlete.   

Hamilton decided to help other people with disabilities regain their livelihood. He has empowered 45 people since 2017 with his nutrition coaching and adaptive physical training. He is empowering people to rise above their limits and live life in the way they want.   

He started to support his program participants through his private training sessions. His purpose is to inspire people and let people know they deserve more than their circumstances. He wants people to realize happiness exists in themselves. They just have to find it.   

Disabled, But Not Really:  

His organization “Disabled But Not Really” has continued to develop after his debut on the show and has earned broad support.  

Hamilton’s foundation is currently working on several initiatives in the Kansas City region. Hamilton and the organization are introducing inclusive training centers and parks to neglected areas based on his enthusiasm for exercise. The organization also provides advice to businesses on making their workplaces and environments more accessible to people with disabilities.  

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