Scholarship Recipient – Corey Dooley

“I do not consider myself a victim but a survivor, I thank God for a second chance at life and I will live it to glorify Him!”

Indeed, Corey Dooley and his mom, brother and sister are survivors of domestic violence after his mom’s ex-husband ambushed them one night, firing shots into their car.  Four bullets hit Corey’s body, leaving him in a coma for days . . . his hopes for an NFL career in professional football, shattered.

Originally being born in Dallas, as time went on my family went from Addison, to Arlington, Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie, and finally resting in Mansfield. Now that I am out of state, when people ask the question, “Where are you from?”, I proudly respond with Dallas, Texas.

Growing up there was a father figure in our life but I wouldn’t say the greatest, he ended up leaving when I was about 5. From then on I remember my mom always giving us the best and taking care of our every need. She never let her struggle show to raise and nurture her children. One day, it all changed when a cunning man deceived my mom into thinking he was the man for her and the father for us. On the outside, we lived a wonderful life with a
beautiful two-story house, stone walkway and garden to compliment the front. Accompanied by a Hummer and a
Cadillac CTS, with a pool and a hot tub in the back to portray the image of a dream team family. Glued together with fake lies and dishonesty, the picture from the outside, looking in, fooled many.
After the 6 years of a controlling marriage, the opportunity arose for me, my mom, and younger brother to escape from his wrath. Moving in with my grandmother was the safest option as my mom filed for a divorce and for the first time in my life I felt free. This didn’t last very long due to the constant phone calls, emails, mail and harassment from my moms ex-husband.

This all ended one night on October 16, 2013 when we were ambushed at 9pm pulling into my grandmothers garage in her Desoto home. As we pulled into the garage that night he snuck from behind and fired bullets into our car, 4 entered my body, 2 hit my mom and my brother was left unharmed. Calling on the name of Jesus was the only way we survived. I remember driving down the street as we fled away, with my vision turning
read and my head to the sky asking God to save my life and I would give it to Him if He did.

Waking up out of the comma a few days later, I realized the Lord had given me another chance at life. What I didn’t realize was that the doctors told my family I might have some mental retardation from lack of oxygen to my brain. That I would never walk again or play football due to the 2 bullets in my back and one lodging in my heart; accompanied by the 2 bullets hitting a main artery in my left leg that left me with severe nerve damage for months and a permanent subtle limp.

With family, the media and most importantly God by my side I was fully recovered and done with the hospital and rehab all within 3 and a half weeks. My dreams of going to the NFL seemed out of reach as I had woke up 97 lbs, compared to the 160lbs i weighed prior to the incident. Hard work, faith and resiliency helped me look past my current circumstance and embrace my current stance. Therapy, weight lifting, God and family kept me going and my mind strong. I did struggle a lot during that period and even after that, but if it has taught me one thing, it has taught me that nothing is impossible with God.

I now attend Concordia University Chicago, majoring in Political Science and I start as a Wide Receiver for my football team. I always had the dream of going to the NFL and winning it all but going through what I went through, it made me realize the importance of grades and my relationship with God was most important. I now plan on going to Law School after I graduate and I am even taking a course downtown this semester at John Marshall Law School to gain connection and get ahead in life.

Though I may have struggled and endured hard times, the Lord blessed me with opportunities I never could have imagined. I now have a documentary on Investigation Discovery that still airs till this day, I have featured in 2 magazines for Methodist Hospital and done a documentary with the organization OneLove based out of New York.

I now live my life with a purpose to share my testimony and I continue to let God guide my paths as he is making all my dreams come true. My family is blessed and my brother is graduating this year and going to Doane University in Nebraska to major in Computer Science and play football as well. My sister continues to set the bar high as she is now in the Air Force stationed in Hawaii, working with technology. I do not consider myself a victim but a survivor,

I thank God for a second chance at life and I will live it to glorify Him!