Shaquille O’Neal donates a year’s rent to family of paralyzed 12-year-old shooting victim

Isaiah Payton's mother was having a difficult time taking care of him after he was paralyzed in a shooting, but thanks to the NBA legend's generosity, they now have a home which will make it easier

Shaquille O'Neal
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal attends the grand opening of Shaquille's At L.A. Live at LA Live on March 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

This month Shaquille O’Neal has donated a home to an Atlanta woman whose 12-year-old son was left paralyzed from the chest down after he was shot at a school football game.

According to WXIA-TV, Isaiah Payton’s family was previously living in a one-bedroom apartment that wasn’t accessible for people with disabilities, but thanks to the NBA Hall of Famer they now have a wheelchair accessible home in a good neighborhood. Not only that, but Shaq also agreed to furnish the home and pay its rent for the next 12 months.

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“I was watching the story and it’s just sad,” O’Neal explained. “It could have been any one of us. It could have been my son. It could’ve been your cousin and she was living in a one-bedroom house with her two boys so we found her a one-bedroom house in College Park. Nice area.”

“I’m going to get her some ring cameras on me,” he continued, referring to doorbells with pre-installed security cameras. “We’re going to give her some furniture, TVs and pay her rent off for a year and help her get on her feet.”

In August Isaiah was shot through the spine after a football scrimmage between two local schools. Damean Spear, 16, also was wounded but only treated for minor injuries. On Wednesday, Atlanta police arrested a 15-year-old boy who they believe is connected to the shooting.

Isaiah’s mother, Allison Woods, had to leave her job in order to care for the teen and has been under extreme financial stress as a result.

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“My son, Isaiah Payton, is an active 12-year-old kid who loves sports such as football and basketball,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page she started to help pay for her son’s medical expenses. “He dreamed of being a football player when he grew up.” reports that the value of their new house which is located in Atlanta’s College Park neighborhood is around $154,000 which should be affordable for the family to pay rent on after they get their affairs in order and have a year to save up, thanks to O’Neal’s generous gift.

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