HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – As Americans watched Olympic athletes participate in the opening ceremonies in PyeongChang, a group of Houston-area residents gathered at a north Harris County auto dealership to catch the Olympic spirit and to honor a local hero.

“Nov. 5 changed my life forever,” says Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Justin Gay.

Gay was the featured speaker and guest of honor at a watch party hosted by Spring’s own Winter Olympic gold medalist, Chad Hedrick

In November, a suspect shot Gay seven times after the deputy responded to a domestic disturbance call.

Gay — who has lost the use of his legs for now — gave the crowd an update on his recovery and encouraging words regarding his journey to heal.

“As long as I still got breath in my body and I still got life,” Gay says. “I still got people around me that support me; that’s all I really need.”

And through Hedrick’s foundation it was announced the proceeds from the evening’s silent auction will go to assist Deputy Gay and his family with medical and other expenses. One local hero making a difference for another.

“I’m sure he’s already got a lot of support,” says Hedrick. “But it’s not only about the money, but it’s also about where our heart is and coming here to spend some time to help him.”

And Gay is grateful for the help.

“If I had a million tongues I would say ‘thank you’ a million times,” says Gay. “It’s totally a blessing — not the financial aspect, but just the effort that people put in to help me out, and my wife out, and my family.”

Gay still has a long road to recovery with at least another procedure and possibly more surgeries, but he is very hopeful he will regain full use of his legs.