An Important Message About Texting and Driving
Carole Meekins reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
MILWAUKEE - "Every single day I cry." Those words from Milwaukee mother Valetta Bradford. Bradford admits life has been hell ever since her son was paralyzed after being hit by a car.
Witnesses say the woman who struck her 6-year-old son Xavier Davis-Bilbo was texting while driving.
It's something thousands do in this country every day. Bradford recalls that fateful day. "I have a 13-year-old. They were crossing the walk together. She missed the 13-year-old by about that much."
The accident happened at the corner of 9th and Meinecke October 11th. Xavier was five at the time. He and his sister were on their way to play in a park but they never made it.
In his room at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Xavier enjoys computer games. As Valetta helps her son maneuver the mouse, it's bittersweet. Knowing her son will never walk again is hard. She sadly explains, "That was my linebacker. That was my left tackle. She took that away from me."
Little Xavier has undergone seven surgeries and right now he cannot breathe without the help of a ventilator.
Bradford says, "For someone as energetic and vibrant as Xavier, I just thank God that he has the mind that he has."
And Bradford is clearly upset over the penalty the driver received. She exclaims, "An inattentive driving ticket? She's paying a $150 fine for what we're suffering for forever!"
Xavier's medical bills have topped $700,000. Bradford, a former manager at optical stores, has lost all her savings. Bradford praises the staff at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. She says they have been positive.
But she worries about a new reality. That she cannot afford an accessible van for Xavier's wheelchair.
Despite her new challenges, Bradford spends a lot of time trying to prevent others the pain she is enduring. She constantly warns others against the dangers of texting and driving.
Bradford pleads, "If you want to get a text done, pull over to the side of the road." But when you are behind the wheel driving, Bradford begs, "Don't do it! Don't do it! Don't do it all."