Appomattox, VA - An Appomattox County man is making leaps and bounds in his recovery after a near death experience.
Paul Mullins broke his neck trying to cut up a tree in his backyard earlier this year.
Doctors told Mullin's wife that he'd live in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. But day by day, he's proving them wrong. Doctors also expected Paul would live in an institution, but soon he's going home. Despite a few setbacks, Paul and his wife are coming through stronger than before.
After the accident, Mullins was on both breathing and feeding tubes. He could barely move his arms and legs.
"Paul is a miracle. He has really strived hard to get to where he's at today," said Cheryl Mullins, Paul's wife.
Cheryl has been by his side since the accident, even when doctors said there wasn't much hope.
"They said he would never walk, talk or be a normal person ever," said Cheryl.
But with lots of prayer and physical therapy, he's doing it all.
"We couldn't even walk from the chair to the bed without him falling. I mean, it's amazing," said Lynn Mason, a physical therapist.
Now he's lifting weights, can stand on his own and his memory is coming back. But with progress, came other hurdles.
"I could tell a change in his voice. It wasn't the same. He talked louder and louder,' said Cheryl.
The force of the tree damaged his ears and now Mullins is legally deaf.
Now, he and his wife communicate through what Cheryl calls a message board. She'll write a question and he'll answer.
"I'm doing a little bit better every day. That's the main thing, I think - just one step at a time," said Mullins.
There's hope for Paul to hear again with surgery, but it costs around $100,000. Plus, medical expenses have already mounted to nearly $1 million. Now Cheryl is out of work because she missed too many days taking care of Paul and had to resign. But Cheryl says she will never leave his side.
"Together every day, every day," said Cheryl.
"That's right," said Mullins.
A benefit to help with Paul's medical expenses is scheduled for September 8. The Southland Band will be playing at Courtland Field in Appomattox. The Mullins want to thank everyone in the community for their love and support.