Monday, July 28, 2014

Features
Milwaukee Family Featured In "It Can Wait" Campaign
by Jessica Tighe


AT&T'S new campaign "It Can Wait" urges everyone not to text while driving. The first national spot released features a Milwaukee family with a powerful story.

"His legs are gone. He's paralyzed from the diaphragm down. She missed his brain stem by that much," Valetta Bradford explains at the start of the announcement.

Bradford decided to share her son Xzavier's story on a national level in the hopes that people will hear the pain and heartache her family has experienced and choose not to text while driving. Three years ago, Xzavier was crossing the street by his Milwaukee home when he was hit by a young woman who was texting.

"We were more than devastated, but more so numb because everything was all about what the next surgery was going to encompass... If he was going to make it to the next surgery... If he was going to make it through the night. That whole day, the whole night, the experience was just complete turmoil," Bradford recalls.

Xzavier was five at the time of the accident. His spinal cord was severed and he went through nine surgeries. He's eight now.

"I can't walk and I can't breathe by myself," Xzavier tells CBS 58.

Life isn't easy for the boy they call the X-Man. He uses a wheelchair to get around and a ventilator to breath.

"It's not the same for him as the other kids when they get up in the morning and Mom is dragging them through the house saying oh, you have to eat, you have to brush your teeth. It's not the same. Brushing his teeth is getting the toothbrush just right in his hand," Bradford says.

Despite his many challenges, Xzavier refuses to stop trying. "It has not deterred him and that's what I love about him so much because (in his mind) he's still the Mighty X-Man. Right here, he's still my little guy who used to run through (the living room)."

Xzavier still has a great spirit. The accident didn't take that away. He too is trying to get the word out.

"Not to text and drive because it's dangerous," he says.

Valetta also spreads the family's message at community centers around Milwaukee, area high schools and driver's education classes.

"People think it's only 2.2 seconds to send that text. Two-point-two seconds with her eyes off the road. 2.2 seconds changed our entire life," Bradford says.