A tumor almost took his life. Now he's taking it back.

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Friday, January 17, 2020
News 12 at 11 o'clock

WARRENTON, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A tumor took away one Warrenton man's ability to walk, but he's hoping his comeback story will help inspire others.

Simple things like making a sandwich have become mini milestones for Tyler Taylor.

"It's not the milestone in itself," he said. "It's what it took to get there."
Tyler's journey here took a major turn on Sept. 26, 2010.

"I was walking from my class to another class," he said. "I felt a tremendous amount of fatigue come over me."

He tried to sleep it off, but felt even worse the next morning.

"I couldn't walk," he said. "I couldn't move. I was in excruciating pain."

A 4-inch tumor on his cervical spine was blocking his ability to breathe and walk. In order to do a biopsy and surgery, doctors had to shut down his organs.

Tyler was dead. Twice.

After surgery, he lost his ability to walk, but he went back to high school in a wheelchair to finish his last two years. While his classmates were learning how to drive, he was re-learning how to walk.

"I was just afraid of how they would perceive me," he said, worrying people wouldn't want to associate with someone who needs a wheelchair.

But when it came time to get his diploma, with his mom's help, he walked the stage.

It would be five years before Tyler was able to walk on his own again, and he had bigger milestones in mind. He got an associate degree in May, and his driver's licence in November. He hopes his story inspires someone else to never give up.

"Just keep going, keep trusting, keep the faith and don't stop," he said. "Because the moment you stop is when things will go terribly wrong."

Tyler hopes to get a job in Augusta at the Cyber Center. He's able to drive a modified car which uses two joysticks instead of a steering wheel. Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Services will pay for the modifications if Tyler provides the car. So his next milestone is to get the car and get the job.

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