Gospel producer says his paralysis is blessing - FOX Carolina 21

Gospel producer says his paralysis is blessing

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Gabriel Anderson uses his mouth stick to produce music on his computer. (File/FOX Carolina) Gabriel Anderson uses his mouth stick to produce music on his computer. (File/FOX Carolina)
LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A Laurens man who is now paralyzed from the neck says he wouldn't change a thing, because without his paralysis, he wouldn't have discovered his passion for producing gospel music.

A single-car crash left Gabriel Anderson paralyzed from the neck down, which followed many years of struggle and trouble for Anderson.

Anderson grew up with a mother addicted to cocaine. He had to steal so he and his younger sister could eat, which led him down a dangerous path of drugs and violence.

By age 18, Anderson was serving a nine-year prison sentence for drugs, possession of a firearm, and assault and battery.

He was released after five years, but just two months later, he was back in confinement. This time - a hospital room.

"The car started spinning around, hit a tree, the seat snapped and my neck just snapped," said Anderson.

It took years for Anderson to accept his new reality. He said says he felt imprisoned by his body. A body that no longer moved as it once did.

SLIDESHOW: Laurens man produces gospel music from home

"I wanted to die," said Anderson. "I didn't want to live. I couldn't take it."

He said God and gospel music gave him the will to live.

"Without music, I really couldn't tell you where I would be," said Anderson.

Almost 15 years after the accident, Anderson is making a name for himself in the local gospel music industry as a producer and rapper.

He recently put out a gospel CD with singer Victoria Garlington called "Let's Give Him Some Praise." They record their music in his house first, then they record it in a local studio. They often perform their music around Laurens.

Anderson produces the music with a program on his computer using a mouth stick to click on the buttons. He calls his mouth stick his arm.

One day Anderson said he got tired of depending on others, so he had his nurse bring him a stick from his yard. Now he has a professionally made mouth stick.

"I was just amazed when I first met him," said Garlington. "He can answer the phone, turn on the TV, get on the computer, look stuff up, he makes me CDs."

Garlington said Anderson is a living testimony.

"Bad things are going to happen," said Garlington. "That's life. God never said everything will be good all the time. Just trust in him, he will bring you through."

"Now I got to live with my mind and my heart, before I was living with my body," said Anderson. "I thought it was all about looks, but now it ain't about that"

Surprising to some, Anderson calls the accident that left him in need of constant care a blessing.

"I would rather be like this and know God than to be walking and not know God, because I didn't know God when I was walking," said Anderson.

Anderson is a man named after the angel Gabriel and found his wings during what many would call a living nightmare. Now he uses those wings to soar by inspiring others through music.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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