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Father, others help injured teen
Event Saturday supports effort to walk again
Walk WEB 1
Tony Davenport, left, works with Chris Pickard to strengthen his muscles Thursday at Project Walk. - photo by Autumn Vetter
When doctors told Paul Pickard his son would probably never walk again, he didn’t listen.“There’s only one master physician that I care about, and that’s our Savior,” Pickard said. “He’s the only one who knows what this outcome’s going to be.”A concerned father has kept his faith, and it led him to the answer of how to help his son.Just two weeks before his Lambert High School graduation last May, Chris Pickard’s spinal cord was severely injured in a car accident, leaving him unable to use his hands, body or legs.The tear was incomplete, however, which left hope that 18-year-old Pickard could walk again someday with physical rehabilitation.After several weeks at the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, Pickard traveled to California to begin an intense, exercise-based recovery program called Project Walk.The family thought he would stay on the West Coast for six months, and they would come to visit.They made it seven weeks.“Christopher was adamant about not going back,” his dad said. “He just missed his friends and family so much because he hadn’t been home since his accident.”Paul Pickard wanted his son to finish the six months, but he couldn’t convince him.While flying home with an empty seat next to him, the answer came to Paul Pickard, and he created Project Walk-Atlanta.“It really wasn’t something that I wanted to take on, but that message was real clear to me then,” he said.