POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Zion McMillan is a survivor. The 11-year-old is recovering after he was hit by a car last Tuesday.
"You alright?" Zion's dad, Jarvis Alston, asked.
The 11-year-old said it's his faith that got him here.
"Philippians 4:19 tells us what?" Alston asked his son. "I can do all things with Christ," Zion answered.
One week ago on Tuesday, Nov. 15, Zion left home for school and was hit by a car while walking to the bus stop with a friend.
"All I remember is being in the helicopter," Zion explained.
The boy was airlifted to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children with his dad. His dad said he's proud of the courage his son has shown since the crash.
"He's a real trooper, brave, very courageous, young kid, man," Alston said."I love him."
Alston was by his son every day while he was recovering in the hospital. With a broken leg and injuries to his face, Zion prayed he'd make it out of the hospital.
Zion believes God is why he's still here today. Despite his strength and tenacious attitude, Zion expressed some apprehension when it comes to walking to the bus again. The 11-year-old said he's traumatized.
"I'm traumatized," his dad said in agreement with his son, "you know, and it wasn't me that actually got hit. But me knowing that that could happen again to my son is is a risk that I'm not willing to take."
The family is now pushing for safety changes in their Poinciana neighborhood — and a closer bus stop.
While the man accused of leaving Zion in the road is behind bars, this 11-year-old wants everyone to know he's doing all right.
"I'm okay," he said with a reassuring tone, "and you don't have to be like crying or violent to the person who did it. you can forgive..."
Zion says he has already forgave the man who allegedly struck him with his car. With a few months of rehab to go, this football player hopes he'll be on the field next season.
The 11-year-old is a walking reminder of how quickly the game of life can change.
"From the time he left home, up until the time he got hit is literally probably a minute and a half walking distance," his dad said. "So life can change just that fast for you."
"You know, Thanksgiving holiday time, and and I can't be more thankful than to have my son is sitting here with me."