Man Paralyzed During Strip Club Brawl Speaks Out - 8 News NOW

Man Paralyzed During Strip Club Brawl Speaks Out

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Forty-three-year-old Tom Urbanski hasn't walked since he was shot at the Minxx strip club over NBA All-Star weekend. He is now undergoing painful rehabilitation for his injuries. Forty-three-year-old Tom Urbanski hasn't walked since he was shot at the Minxx strip club over NBA All-Star weekend. He is now undergoing painful rehabilitation for his injuries.

(Apr. 27) -- It's been two months since Tennessee Titan Adam "Pacman" Jones was linked to a brawl and triple shooting at the Minxx strip club in Las Vegas over NBA All-Star weekend.

There has been a lot of attention on Pacman's checkered past and his suspension from the NFL but one man you haven't heard from yet is now talking.

Forty-three-year-old Tom Urbanski hasn't walked since he was shot that February night. He is now undergoing painful rehabilitation for his injuries.

Click here for the Tommy Urbanski Fund

A simple sandwich on a deli patio may seem ordinary but for Tommy Urbanski it's a breakthrough. "I am just happy to be alive." This rare moment is the first time Tommy's been outside since Feb. 19 when a gunman opened fire outside the Minxx gentleman's club.

"I walked out front door. I was out there for five seconds then I was shot shot three or four times."

A bullet went through his vertebra and that tiny piece of metal rendered a six-foot, 400-pound man paralyzed from the waist down.

"I came to realization pretty fast, sit here and cry all day or have a productive life," he said. A productive life for Tommy now revolves around basics. "We have to celebrate things like eat with hands, things you teach a small child," said Kathy Urbanski, his wife. She and his father have learned to take pleasure in the smallest of strides."I think he's going to have great life, limited life, different than he had planned on this day."

He is learning to sit up in bed, get into a wheelchair and become more independant. "It's the worst feeling. I've never felt helpless before. And that's why it's so hard to take," Tommy said.

In his 20's, Urbanski was a pro wrestler, feared for his size. Since then, Tommy's made a living selling real estate and managing VIP rooms in Las Vegas. His wife and best friend was always by his side.

"I felt if he hadn't survived I wouldn't have had reason to go on living anymore but the one thing Tommy didn't lose that night was his spirit and his will to live," Kathy said. "He's still the life of the party even when the party has to come to him."

Tommy's expected to leave Denver's Craig Hospital and return to Las Vegas but even then it's a long and slow recovery process.

He will have to learn to maneuver his wheelchair at home and learn to live again in the city where his life changed forever.

"He'll have to wake up every morning and process he can't walk, he can't feel but there's always room for hope," Kathy said. Doctors give Tommy a 6-percent chance of walking again.

It is a miracle he's still alive and his family is convinced that his fighting spirit may just win out in the end.

 

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