Big Island man survives debilitating shooting

By Paul Drewes
Published On: Apr 04 2014 09:23:29 PM HST
Updated On: Apr 04 2014 09:24:04 PM HST

Daniel Moriarty is using a positive attitude to recover after a shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down.

HONOLULU -

The power of positive thinking may be more than just a way of living. For a Big Island man who recently survived a debilitating shooting, it just may be the reason he is alive.

For someone in a hospital, Daniel Moriarty has a positive attitude.

"Positive thinking can take you a long way and make miracles happen," said Daniel.

It is a miracle he is even here at the rehab hospital of the pacific, recovering from a shooting last month on the Big Island.

He was shot in the back three times. One of those bullets ripped through his spine and left the 37 year old paralyzed from the waist down.

Adding to the pain from of the shooting is the fact it was his friend who pulled the trigger.

"He's helped me raise my kids. For 15 years we've been good friends. We bicker like an old couple and he would have never done this if he wasn't wasted drunk," said Daniel.

Police believe Chris Criswell, who lived on the same property, turned the gun on himself after shooting Daniel.

The pain of physical therapy is nothing compared to the pain that fateful night; a night Daniel did not expect to survive.

"Boom and boom boom -- I think he might have put another in me on the ground. I'm not sure. It happened real fast," said Daniel.

He woke up in a hospital room days later, physically changed, but alive.

"I was so overjoyed. I could not stop thinking about all the things I wanted to do. I stayed up for 55 hours from that point," said Daniel.

Daniel has not been able to take real steps in his recovery yet, but he has already seen some positive signs all the way down in his toes.

"He has had some sensation, which is one of the first steps in recovery. The next step is he'll have some motor response as the nerves start to heal," said Dr. Amendeep Somal of The Queen's Medical Center's Spinal Cord Injury Program.

It could be years before Daniel could ever walk again. Even with the pain he has endured and the hardships ahead, Daniel believes the shooting has made him a better man.

"Don't get me wrong I wish I had movement in my legs, but I'm glad it happened," Daniel added. "This is forcing me in a strange way to appreciate every inch of life I have."

Daniel says his attitude and determination have been reinforced by the outpouring of support and positive thoughts from around the state.

Numerous donation jars have been put up in over a dozen Big Island restaurants and businesses.

Daniel says that support will help him with financial costs before he moves to his mom's home in Oregon following rehab.

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