BOISE -- A former meth addict shot 21 times by police during a drug investigation is now giving back to his community.
Boise's Dorian Willes admits he was addicted to meth and on a downhill spiral five years ago. He's now a college graduate, athlete, and community volunteer. But it wasn't always that way.
"I had really given up on life in general," Willes said. "Sometimes it takes something drastic to show you what you have been missing your whole life."
Willes was the suspect of a drug investigation, and police were trying to track him down when the shooting happened on June 5th, 2008.
He tried to escape with a gun, breaking through the walls of an apartment building, and hiding in the basement.
When two Boise police officers eventually found him, they shot him 21 times. The bullets hit Willes in the chest, arm, leg, and back.
Willes was in a coma for three months, then recovered in the hospital for six more months. His right leg had to be amputated from above the knee.
A SECOND CHANCE
Willes now admits his drug addiction made him neglect his family and his friends. He says he made up his mind to change his life while he was recovering in the hospital.
".. I made that conscious decision before I got out of the hospital, I'm going to change my life," Willes explained to KTVB. "Now my family is everything to me. Giving back to my community is everything to me."
Willes just completed his fourth half-marathon and hopes to run a full marathon later this year. He graduated college in December and now works at an architectural firm. He also has regained custody of his kids, and is engaged to be married in August.
Willes also volunteers for the Idaho Meth Project, telling his story to kids.
"Giving back is everything to me, it's changed my life, and when you give you get it back in return a hundred fold," said Willes.
HIS NEW MISSION
Now, Willes has decided to use his story to help other amputees in the Treasure Valley. He recently found out about a non-profit in Denver, Colorado called Lim359. It's a support group for those who have lost a limb and are trying to stay active.
Willes just started the second chapter of the group here in Boise.
"We want to show people they can be as active as they can be and do what they want to do, it's giving them a social outlook, a support group," said Willes.
He hopes the group will be able to push each other to stay fit and also provide a social setting for amputees to ask questions. The group had their first meeting on Saturday.
If you would like to learn more about the organization, click HERE.
You can also contact Willes at email@example.com to get involved.