One Year Later: OKC Woman Paralyzed By Gunman Speaks Of Hope
OKLAHOMA CITY - Cheryl Ruaylarp should stand as a testament that hope and perseverance can help you overcome anything.
Though an armed gunman took away the use of her legs last December, he did not rob her of her sweet spirit.
We first met Cheryl in the hospital last December, just weeks after the shooting outside the Southwest OKC home she shared with her husband.
“And all of the sudden a man came out of nowhere and started saying give me your purse, give me your wallet, which I would have done,” said Cheryl.
Cheryl says the armed robber fired his gun, shattering the car windows. The bullet hit Cheryl in the back, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.
For months she was left bedridden.
People came from everywhere offering her help, supplies, even a brand new hospital bed.
“I'm so proud of everyone who has contributed to me,” said Cheryl back on February 5th.
That was then. Now, ten months later, Cheryl is stronger and happier, and refuses to give up hope that there are better days ahead.
She's even moved to a new apartment in Guthrie to be closer to family and friends.
“I went to school here in Guthrie,” says Cheryl. “My friends are down here and they'll contact me every once in a while. We're on Facebook together. I love my little apartment down here!”
Cheryl says she still has leg spasms and has to stay strapped into her wheelchair, but she is not letting any of this get her down.
She has gone through many months of physical therapy to try to get better and slowly but surely has started seeing results.
“As they worked on it, I got better and better and better,” said Cheryl.
Oklahoma City police searched and searched, but never did find the person responsible. But Cheryl hasn't lost hope that one day they will.
“They just haven't caught him yet,” said Cheryl, “But someday, someday they will!”
Cheryl just hopes her story will serve as an inspiration to others out there with spinal cord injuries to never give up. And she credits her sister and her husband for helping her get through those tough days.
Cheryl says she could still use a wheelchair lift, or wheelchair accessible van to help her get around.
She and her husband have set up a Go Fund Me account to get the word out.