JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- May 3, 2009 is a night Tyler Bounds will never forget. The star baseball player at Florida State College at Jacksonville was sound asleep when an incident happened that would change his life forever.
"A fight broke out between players and people there who were hanging out," Bounds said.
It was at the Colonade Apartments shortly after midnight that Bounds says he received a knock on his door for help. He said he went outside saw a big fight.
As he was going to try and break up the fight, he was stabbed twice in his back. Then in the process of breaking up the fight, he was stabbed again in his leg.
"That's when I collapsed," Bounds said. "When I collapsed, I fell on top of one of their friends and I remember I held them and pleaded with him to stop. 'Please stop! Please stop!' When he said yes, I let go and he got up and when I tried to get up, I couldn't.
At the time, Bounds didn't know he had been stabbed three times.
"That's when a wave of confusion and shock went over my body," he said. "I was just, 'I'm what? I just got stabbed?'"
Bounds' teammates immediately called 911. He was transported to Shands Jacksonville. There, he underwent six hours of emergency surgery for a broken back and punctured spleen.
Doctors told him he was paralyzed on his left side and might not ever walk again. His baseball career was over.
"That was the hardest thing to come to realization with, baseball is done. It's time to hang it up because I've been competitive in baseball since I could walk," Bounds said.
But Bounds says it was his competitive nature that had him so determined to walk again. He went to therapy six to seven times a week.
"This was my first attempt of trying to walk with a walker. It was excruciating pain. As you can tell, I'm dragging my left leg. It doesn't won't to work," he said.
"Each therapy lesson he'd have tears streaming down his eyes," said Janice Bounds. "But he still, 'I'm going to do this. I'm going to do this.' I mean he was actually my hero through this process."
Two years after being stabbed, Bounds regained full range of motion on the left side of his body.
And now some three years later, he's preparing to be sworn into the army.
"It's going to be a tremendous amount of joy," he said. "I just I mean I couldn't have drawn it up better. I'm just thankful to get an opportunity like this."
Now Bounds will be sworn into the Army at halftime of the Jaguars and Colts game.
His tells the people who helped him get through this difficult process will be at the game tonight to once again support him.
As for the man who stabbed Bounds, he's currently serving a 13 year sentence in prison. Bounds said he has forgiven that man.
First Coast News