A year later, LeGrand has reason to believe

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Believing is a big part of LeGrand’s life.

In the two-bedroom apartment where he and his mother, Karen LeGrand, live in Woodbridge, about a mile away from the home where he grew up in Avenel _ which is being rebuilt to accommodate him _ there is a wood carving of BELIEVE on the TV stand.

The art work on the living room wall, BELIEVE.

On the front of his mom’s black shirt, BELIEVE in red letters with LeGrand’s number, 52.

Eric LeGrand believes he will walk again.

“When I get better ….”

He says that a lot. Never if. When.

Karen LeGrand would have it no other way.

“We have faith and we pray and we know in the long run _ we don’t know how long it’s going to be _ but in the long run he’s going to be OK,” she says. “He’s going to be fine. He’s going to walk and he’s going to do great things. And he’s going to do great things in the interim as well.”

A day in the life of Eric LeGrand is, in a word, busy.

It takes Karen LeGrand, with the help of a nurse and a nurse’s aide, about two hours to get Eric out of bed, dressed and into the $40,000 wheelchair that Eric adroitly controls with a mouthpiece.

After five months at Kessler, Karen figures she knows just as much as any caregiver about the proper way to take care for her son.

“I’m really hands on. I have to make sure they do it my way. I’m sure the nurses and the aides hate me.”

On this unseasonably warm day, the first thing Eric wants to do is go outside. Because of his injuries Eric always feels cold, so on a fall day when the temperature is touching 80 degrees and the sun is shining brightly, he rolls out of the apartment and into the parking lot of the subdivision to bake in the rays.

“When I get better, I’m going to move to Florida,” he said.

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