A 29-year-old Jacksonville man who's dedicated his life helping others was discharged from a rehabilitation center Thursday after fighting off a bacterial infection took over 98 percent of his body.
Doctors believe it started from an abscessed tooth. They had to amputate Steven Walker's legs and both his hands, but he survived.
Walker says his disability is not going to stop him from helping those in need.
Doctors said Walker's recovery is truly a miracle. They didn't expect him to make it and even told his mom to say goodbye to her son.
But he pulled through, and in less than three months after he was hospitalized, Walker was wheeled out of Brooks Rehab as one of only three people in the world to survive this disease.
"I gave him over to God and God gave him back," Walker's mother, Barbara Gilbert, said.
Walker was diagnosed with Capnocytophaga, a disease that shut down his organs and put him in a six-week coma.
Walker defied all odds and survived the deadly disease. Life as he knew it will now be completely different.
"Brush my hair, brush my teeth, pouring a drink or just any simple thing takes forever to do," Walker said.
But he's not letting his disability hold him back.
"What can you do? You can't give up. You just got to keep going forward, continue the things I was doing, I enjoyed," Walker said. "Keep studying and finish college and all that. It's either that or give up, and I'm not going to give up."
He's especially not going to give up on the people in Jamaica. With the help of an international relief organization called Food For the Poor, Walker and his mom have spent years building villages over there.
"It rejuvenates your spirit every time you go, and that's how Steven expresses it," Gilbert said. "He is so bonded with the spirit of the people in Jamaica."
Walker plans to carry that spirit with him to inspire others not to ever give up hope.
"Not only is he inspiring us now, but he's inspiring every human being that there's never too much that you can't fight your way through and that you can't overcome and that you can't move forward," Walker said.
Walker and his mom are spending the next few days at the beach on a little vacation while they wait for Builder's Care to renovate an apartment to fit his needs. It's an organization Walker used to volunteer for and now they're volunteering their time helping him.
If you'd like to help Walker, you can go to YouCaring.com and type in his name.