MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) - The survivor of a shooting at Tavern and Table is sharing his story of recovery, determination and strength.
It has been one year since Tavern and Table was robbed at gunpoint while employees were closing for the evening. Police say Brandon Daniels and Joshua Washington robbed the restaurant and shot the store manager.
"I turned to open up the safe and the next thing I know I was laying on the floor and couldn't feel my legs," said Christopher Dixon.
That store manager was Christopher Dixon. He sat down exclusively with News 2's Deanne Roberts and shared the exact moments terror struck.
"All I could do is stare at the floor and wait for the police to come," Dixon said.
The bullet cracked his spine and pierced his colon, kidney and liver. "I couldn't feel my toes, I couldn't feel my legs," Dixon said.
Dixon said that exact night is still somewhat of a blur even one year later. Dixon was rushed to the Medical University of South Carolina that night, which is where he would stay for three and half more weeks. After MUSC, Dixon spent the next 15 weeks at an in-patient rehabilitation center where he begin his journey of regaining his strength back.
"It started with learning how to sit up, then transferring to a wheelchair," he said.
Those months spent in the hospital were hard for Dixon. He was away from wife and daughter who was just a few months old at the time of the shooting.
"She [his wife] had to come down and see me in the hospital with tubes in my mouth, take care of me, cut my finger nails and toe nails," Dixon said. " I hated that she had to see me so fragile, she had to take care of Marley, you know, it was really hard."
Dixon is now focused on getting stronger with his trainer, Thomas Spigner, at Saint Andrews Family Fitness.
"His determination, his fire for wanting to excel and get back to functionality is paramount," Sprigner said.
Dixon is still numb below his left knee. He trains almost daily, pushing himself with little to no limits.
"I'm really working hard, I'm not where I want to be just yet, which is disappointing, but I'm getting there," Dixon said. "I'm very lucky to be here though, everyday is a good day."
His trainer, Spigner, said he pushes him everyday and he wants to be pushed and everyone sees it. "When they see him walking the tracks, when they see him doing his get ups and get downs, his squats, makes him really excel," Spigner said.
Dixon said his motivation is his family, friends and the community.
"I was really overwhelmed with the amount of support and love I was getting," Dixon said. "It gives me goosebumps just thinking about the amount of people who supported me. My wife and daughter are my number one support system."
His trainers have been helping him along the way as well. Dixon says Spigner, another trainer Emma, and his two trainers at the in-patient rehabilitation center have all helped him get to where he is today.
"He's going to make it," Spigner said. "I'm going to be there when they cut the ribbon when he walks through the Tavern and Table and I'm going to bust out the cake and say yeah boy! I told you we did it."
Dixon wanted to run in this year's bridge run, but he was not one hundred percent there yet. His goal this year is to walk or jog the next Bridge Run along side his trainers, family, and friends.
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