JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Brett Parks knew J.T. Townsend well. In fact, he was the first person he saw when he woke up from a coma in the fall.
"One of the reasons why I'm up and walking today and doing as well as I'm doing today is because J.T. rolled info my room with that smile on his face," he explained.
Parks was shot in the abdomen while trying to help a man being robbed. In result, he lost part of his leg and has to undergo treatment. When J.T. heard about it, him and his Foundation stepped in and brought gifts to the hospital. That selflessness is something Parks will never forget.
"He really motivated me to get up out of bed instead of rolling over," he continued.
Parks isn't the only who felt J.T's impact. His Foundation helped more than 35 families with disabilities receive equipment ... and everywhere he went, he drew a crowd. From Jaguars players to little kids in the hospital, to even myself, you name them, they've taken a picture with J.T.
Despite his spinal cord injury, he had big dreams ahead of him. He recently graduated from UNF with a degree in sports management and hoped to have a building with his foundation's name on it.
Parks said when he heard the news of his death it was bittersweet. Sad because we'll no longer get to enjoy J.T., but happy because he's in a better place.
"He was in a wheelchair last night. And today, he's walking around in heaven. Heaven is brighter because of J.T. Townsend."
Instead of flowers, J.T's family is asking for donations to the J.T. Townsend Foundation. You can do so by visiting http://www.jttownsendfoundation.org