Special Olympics athlete faces long road to recovery

Gary at the Special Olympics posing with a police officer.

Doctors are keeping a close eye on well-known Special Olympics athlete Gary Fuller.

He is in the intensive care unit at Providence St. Patrick Hospital, he is recovering after officers say a man beat him with a baseball bat.

Fuller’s mother says he has always been a loyal friend.

"He just doesn't lose contact with people,” said Judy Fuller.

Gary’s parents were devastated when they found out about the assault.

“Our son was in the hospital and here's the neurosurgeon telling us we need to talk to him. They said Gary’s brain is bleeding and swelling he needs emergency surgery and all I could say was you do what you have to do to save our son,” said Fuller.

People are reaching out to the Fullers on social media.

Gary’s dad, David Fuller, says he’s so grateful for the kind words.

“We knew he knew a lot of people especially law enforcement around here, it has amazed us how many lives he has touched just by the responses on Facebook,” said Fuller.

After surgery, the doctors didn’t think Gary would make it, but Judy says, with the power of prayer, her son keeps fighting.

“By the prayers that were given, Gary woke up yesterday morning and he recognized our voices. We knew Gary was there and I just thank God for all the prayers,” said Fuller.

Gary has Cornelia De Lange syndrome.

His mother says that rare genetic disorder has made Gary who is.

“He’s such a stubborn boy. By him being stubborn he loves everyone, and won’t let them go. If you tell him you’re his friend, you’re his friend for life, regardless of what you do,” said Fuller.

For close to 20 years, Gary has been involved in Special Olympics and been an ambassador of the games, and serves on the board as well.

As Gary prepares for a long road to recovery, his family will continue to be there the whole way supporting their son.

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