KATY, Texas (FOX 26) - A Katy teen who was Tased at school and became too afraid to leave his own home has had a complete turnaround and says his day of giving thanks is coming early. The person on the top of his list to thank is Boston Marathon bombing survivor and Houston native Rebekah Gregory.
When Gregory heard about Jevon Washington’s post traumatic stress disorder, she invited him and his mother to take part in a program that Jevon’s mother says has changed his life.
"I’m blown away," says Lori Washington with a smile.
Gregory, who lost her leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, suffered horrible PTSD after the incident. She started a foundation called Rebekah’s Angels, which offers specialized PTSD therapy in Orlando, Florida. 19-year-old Jevon just returned home after receiving that treatment and boy has he changed!
"A lot — I’m kind of emotional," says a teary-eyed Lori. "As a parent, we love to see our children smile and as you notice, he smiles.”
Jevon is special needs and since being Tased seven times at Mayde Creek High School in 2016, he has lived life afraid, especially of officers, and he didn't want to leave his house. When Rebekah’s Angels invited Lori and Jevon to the PTSD program in Orlando, the teen had to be medicated to walk through the airport, past all the people and the police, to take his first plane ride.
"Actually, I was scared on the airplane," describes Jevon. "When we took off, I was scared. My mom told me to chew gum for the ear thing.”
In Orlando, Gregory made sure Jevon visited the beach and Universal Studios, but more importantly, that he received that special therapy learning to remember the Tasing but to not be haunted by it.
"Now, he has all this joy and I want to keep it," explains Lori.
Jevon even recently did something he hasn’t done in two years. He went to the store with his mother to buy Thanksgiving groceries "and he was able to go down an aisle by himself and there were officers around and I watched him and he just walked right pass."
"Thank you, Rebekah, for taking us on a nice vacation trip," says Jevon with a big smile.
"I just want to send a heartfelt thank you," but before Lori can finish the sentence, she becomes choked up with tears. "I’m sorry. I’m sorry but thank you."
By the way, remember how Jevon was in panic mode on the way to Orlando and had to be medicated? After receiving therapy, he did not have to take any medication on his trip from Orlando back to Houston.