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Disabled Veteran Went From Writing Her Own Obituary To Training For Paralympics

4/10/2018, 12:56 p.m. | Updated on 4/10/2018, 12:56 p.m.
Growing up in the projects of Hyde Park and Chatham, Peyton watched many of her family members enlist in the ...
Babette Peyton has already won 105 medals over the last five and a half years and has competed across the country and began to travel the world. Peyton is actively training to compete for a spot at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.

Disabled Veteran Went From Writing Her Own Obituary To Training For Paralympics

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN At first glance, disabled military veteran, Babette Peyton is a typical resident of St. Leo Residence for Veterans in Auburn Gresham. However, once she shoots her bow and arrow using only her good arm and her teeth, it is undeniable that she is far beyond typical. Growing up in the projects of Hyde Park and Chatham, Peyton watched many of her family members enlist in the military. Eventually, she followed their examples and joined the military herself. “I went into the military and I got a training injury that progressively left me paralyzed a couple of times and then this final time was the last time and for about ten years, I’ve been in a wheelchair and I’m paralyzed on my left side and unable to walk. I had to start my life all over again,” said Peyton. After leaving the military Peyton went to live in a nursing home where she was told that she would never be able to leave and that they were going to send her to hospice care. She knew that hospice was where people went to die so she wrote her own obituary and waited. “After my progressive injury left me paralyzed I was living in a nursing home and I had lost everything. My mom had died, my dad, my older brother, and my younger brother had all passed so I didn’t have nobody to advocate for me and they told me I would never be able to leave the nursing home because I couldn’t take care of myself, and I couldn’t really,” said Peyton. She was feeling defeated until someone from the military suggested that Peyton travel with them to a Paralympic Military Sports Camp. She saw it as an opportunity to leave the nursing home and accepted the offer. This decision changed the direction of her life. “I went up there and I had to agree to participate in all the activities. One of the events was archery because I only had one arm, the other one wasn’t working. There was a Paralympian that was there and pulled out this piece of leather and started sewing it and told me that I was going to pull it with my teeth. I didn’t imagine I could do that, but he made me do it,” said Peyton. Peyton held the bow in her right hand and pulled back on the leather strap with her teeth for the first time. Bullseye. Bullseye.

“When I found out that my first two shots were bullseyes I was extremely excited. I thought, I guess if I shot the bullseye then I’m not dying,” said Peyton.

She is indeed not dying, Peyton is actively training to compete for a spot at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.

Peyton has already won 105 medals over the last five and a half years and has competed across the country and began to travel the world. She has a long road to go before Tokyo, but she said God has already shown her what she can do with so little.