The boy who defied medical odds to survive an emergency Cesarean section after his mother’s murder is now legally an adult.
Chancellor Lee Adams turned 18 this week as his father, former NFL star Rae Carruth, sits in prison for hiring a hitman to shoot his pregnant mother.
Adams has been raised by his grandmother, Saundra Adams, who spoke to the Charlotte Observer about the trials and blessings they have experienced since Cherica Adams was gunned down in November 1999.
“The time has flown by,” she said. “It really feels like it was just a couple of years ago that we were bringing him home from the hospital.”
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The teen was left with brain damage and cerebral palsy due to the circumstances of his birth. Though he was not hit by a bullet while in his mother’s womb, oxygen deprivation took its toll.
Nevertheless, he is frequently sporting a wide smile and Adams said during the interview that he was getting excited about his upcoming birthday party.
In the back of her mind, though, Adams realizes Carruth is set to be released from prison next year, just in time for his son’s 19th birthday. When that day comes, she said she and Lee will be waiting.
“He knows about it,” Adams said of the teen’s familiarity with Carruth’s crime and impending release. “We’ve talked about it a lot.”
Carruth met his son in jail after his arrest but before he was sentenced. Adams said Carruth did not show much interest in seeing his son after learning the meeting would not be covered by media.
Adams’ ability to forgive Carruth for the pain he caused has led her to share her story with other inmates.
Finding a positive outlook on her situation might be tough, but Adams is committed to doing just that.
She is grateful for the support of numerous individuals, including NFL assistant coach Jon Embree, who coached Carruth in college. Over the past several years, he has helped raise about $150,000 to secure the family a new home in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Hopefully we can raise enough that we can pay the whole house off,” the coach said of the fundraising efforts. “We’re just going to keep plugging away.”
And Chancellor Adams has continued to exceed the expectations of experts, his grandmother said. He regularly walks with assistance and can perform many tasks doctors once thought he would never accomplish on his own.
Adams said she can even thank Carruth, at least for the genetic attributes he contributed to her grandson.
[Featured image: Rae Carruth/AP Photo/Chuck Burton]