(WBIR-New Market) Doctors told Ron Gandy he should have died.
However, the Knoxville tow truck driver is not only alive, but is doing much better than doctors ever imagined after being hit in the head – attacked on the job in September 2012.
"I go to a store and then people know me," the 50-year-old man said with a scruffed voice.
He does not remember the night of September 3, 2012, when the attack happened. Gandy was towing a car at the Pleasant Terrace apartments in Northwest Knoxville, when he was attacked out of nowhere.
"I'm just surprised that the facial that they did compare to the pictures I got. The facial x-ray is just outrageous."
Tycorrian Taylor, 23 hit Gandy in the back of the head over and over, then left him for dead. He was found guilty of aggravated manslaughter in October.
"I don't know if I can forgive, but I sure can forget. There's a big difference between forgiving somebody and forgetting," Gandy said.
Prosecutors say Taylor will be in jail no more than six years. However, the impact of Gandy's injuries after a month in a coma, will last much longer.
"I know I'll never gain back what I had before the accident or anything like that as far as business wise or anything like that," Gandy added.
His towing business closed not long after the attack. As medical bills mounted, he had to move houses to the more quiet New Market.
Arguably the toughest challenge for Gandy: he still has limited physical ability, using a wheelchair most of the time.
"Where it's easier for me may not be the right way, but it's the way I get around," he said.
Gandy's son, Jordan, also became a victim of Taylor's attack. His mother passed away several years ago, and Ron's uncertain future left him wondering what would happen to him.
"They did say he died twice and I mean before his accident I took him for granted," Jordan said.
Appreciating each other is the one thing both father and son say is the silver lining in this story. Getting back on their feet has been a team effort.
"It's made me have to change a bunch of things in my life, but it doesn't matter if I have to change or not," Jordan said. "I'm just glad that he's still able to be here and we're able to be a family."
Ron will never be able to drive again, but his dream of Ron's Wrecker Service is very much alive.
"My ultimate goal, and I'll do it within the next year, is I'll have another wrecker myself," Ron said.
Jordan plans to be right by his dad's side. "I don't think it will be exactly like it was before, but I do think we'll get better and continue to progress," he said.
While Ron is forever changed, his mind is on what's next.
"There'll be another wrecker with my name on the side of it," he said.
Sentencing for Taylor is set for November 7.