Shaquille O’ Neal Donates Home To Family of 12-Year-Old Boy Paralyzed In Shooting


October 22, 2019

Helping someone in need is always in season!

NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal donated a home to the family of a 12-year-old boy who was paralyzed by a gunshot wound earlier this year, 11 Alive news reports.

Isaiah Payton was leaving a high school football game with a friend when he was hit by a stray bullet in his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. The shooting shook the Atlanta community and O’Neal as well.


When Shaq learned that Payton couldn’t be released from the hospital because his family didn’t have an accessible home to care for a disabled child, the 4 time NBA champ sprang into action. 

“I reached out to the family because I wanted to see the son. We found [Payton’s mother] a house. I’m going to pay her rent for the year and I’m going to give her some furniture, and it’s sad because her son is paralyzed from the chest down and no mother should have to go through that,” O’Neal told the press.

O’Neal has enlisted the help of the CEO of Papa John’s, Rob Lynch as well as the chairman of the board, Jeff Smith, who also chipped in to help care for Payton and his family. 


Shaq said he decided to help because “it could have been any one of us.” 

The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, also joined in to support O’Neal’s efforts along with the City of Atlanta Fire Department.

If you’d like to contribute you can visit the GoFundMe created to help raise funds for Isaiah.


Photo Courtesy of Nathan Congleton/NBC

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