Couple prepares for parenthood as recovery continues

Great expectations

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Parenthood is becoming a reality for Wayne Eggins Jr. and his girlfriend, Monique Sullivan-Johnson.

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Photo Wayne Eggins looks at his girlfriend Monique Johnson April 4, 2011 in Augusta, Ga. The two moved into a new home to escape any further potentially violent situations in the future. "I'm still getting used to it all," Johnson said.  Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Photo Wayne Eggins looks at his girlfriend Monique Johnson April 4, 2011 in Augusta, Ga. The two moved into a new home to escape any further potentially violent situations in the future. "I'm still getting used to it all," Johnson said.

The couple's everyday routine was shattered in February when Eggins was shot in the head while trying to stop a man breaking into his neighbor's apartment. The past two months have been a whirlwind of pain, tears and anxiety.

But life always finds a way to carry on.

Sullivan-Johnson is 21 weeks pregnant, and Wayne Eggins III is keeping her awake at night with his tiny kicks. Hearing the heartbeat and seeing their boy on an ultrasound is driving the reality home for the young couple.

"It's surreal," said Eggins, who still has a metal bar attached to his face as his broken jaw heals. He's using a wheelchair less now, though he still relies on a walker to get around. His sense of humor hasn't suffered.

"We can learn to walk together," he said about his son.

Eggins returned home from work on Feb. 18 to find a man behind his neighbor's apartment. He pulled the man out toward the street but was pistol-whipped and shot by an accomplice. Both men were caught by deputies within hours.

The couple has since moved out of Merrick Place Apartments in west Augusta and found a small home in Martinez, off Wheeler Road. They've settled into a general routine that includes at least two medical appointments a week.

In a few months Eggins will have major surgery on his skull, the first of many operations in his future. In the meantime, he's regaining his balance and exercising at home to make his body well. Doctors expect it will be two years before he's back to something resembling normal.

But then, doctors didn't expect him to live.

Eggins feels indebted to a higher power for granting him the chance to hold his son in a few months. As a result, the couple have returned to church.

"It's given me a passion to be a better person," Eggins said about his near-death experience.

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Cadence 05/09/11 - 12:57 am
I am glad to get an update on

I am glad to get an update on this young man. So glad to hear good news.

JustLilMe 05/09/11 - 09:30 am
This hero was the victim of a

This hero was the victim of a horrible crime. WHY would the Augusta Chronicle even give a hint about his location since the move? Irresponsible!!

TaniaPadilla 05/09/11 - 07:03 pm
Wonderful article. I'm happy

Wonderful article. I'm happy to see that the community hasn't forgotten them. We are going to be having a fundraiser soon to help them set up a short term funding until they can go back to work. I wish the newspaper would metion their ongoing needs, because of what happened to Wayne, he of course can't work, and Monique needs to be there to help him with basic needs and monitor him. It would be very difficult for her to get a job anyways being so far along in her pregnancy. What the paper also can't mention because of space limitations is that Wayne and Monique absolutely adore each other and have come to appreciate each other in ways that are indescribable. She and the baby are his incentive to work harder in getting better. Wayne looks forward to the day that he can do for Monique that way he used to, for it gave him great joy to be her provider and protector. Amazing how a split second can change lives and make us do the unthinkable. Please continue to pray for them and all their needs: physical, emotional, financial, spiritual. Thanks.

TaniaPadilla 07/06/11 - 05:55 pm
I am so grateful that the

I am so grateful that the community has taken an interest in Wayne and Monique, my daughter. I appreciate the way that the Chronicle and the local news has kept every one afloat of their situation. I am always praying for them but also giving many praises for all that they have been blessed with, especially each other and the baby to come. With him not being able to go back to work right now and her having to care for him almost 24 hrs a day and being so far along in pregnancy their resources are very limited. We are working on trying to get them a fund set up at a local bank, in the mean time I got them a PO Box for any donations to be sent to: P O Box 211403 Augusta GA 30917. Any and everything is appreciated a million times. Many thanks on thier behalf.

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