A Charlotte man was once a promising young athlete at UNC Charlotte. Now he can't talk or move.
"We had so much hope for Grant and we knew that Grant had so many opportunities," said Ovella Nowell, about her son, Grant Nowell.
At 18 years old, Grant Nowell was on his way somewhere. He was a naturally gifted athlete. He dreamed of studying sports medicine and earned a track and field scholarship to UNC Charlotte.
"He was really good."
On an April night two years ago, Grant's dreams were derailed. Police said the teenager tried to buy pot from Megael Matthews with a counterfeit $100 bill. Matthews shot Nowell in the back. Matthews was convicted this week of attempted first-degree murder. A judge sentenced Matthews to 16 years in prison.
Grant’s mom told Eyewitness News the gunshots caused severe brain damage and Grant can no longer walk or talk.
"It's so very hard to see him like that every day," she said.
She's crushed that someone would do that to her son, but she said she wants other young people to learn from her son's story.
"Trying to buy marijuana or even indulging in it, even experimenting with it, it's not worth your life."
Nowell said she had to reduce work hours in order to take care of her son and she said she could soon lose several nurses that help her due to Medicaid cuts.
She set up a fund to help with Grant's medical expenses. Call 704-251-9288 to find out how to help, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.