CROWLEY – Chyna Young doesn’t remember much of the night of June 14, 2011.
“I was sleeping and it was early when I heard my mother screaming ’run Chyna run,”she said. “That’s when I came out and saw my mother fighting with him (Chyna’s ex-boyfriend Patrick Guillory who was armed with a .22 caliber pistol) on the floor and I ran outside the door. I really don’t remember much after that.”
It was three days after her 18th birthday. Chyna was three months pregnant.
Chyna’s mother Sherry Yokum, however, remembers every detail.
“It was 3:30 a.m. and I heard a knock at the door,” said Yokum. “I saw a kid from the neighborhood so I opened the door and Patrick just pushed that kid out of the way and forced his way into the house.”
Yokum fought with Guillory until he pistol whipped her and began to chase Chyna who by then was across the street of their home on J.D. Miller Rd. in Crowley. Yokum’s fight with Guillory may have just been enough to save Chyna’s life.
“If he had made it into the house with her in there he would have shot her from much closer and the thought of my child dying inside my house was just too much to bear,” said Yokum. “It was dark outside the house and he fired his gun without being able to really take aim but I heard the gunshots and I ran outside screaming for my baby and didn’t get an answer.”
That’s when a neighbor from across the street screamed “Sherry she’s over here.”
“When I ran up to her she was choking on her blood,” said Yokum, who is a nurse at Dr. Sangeeta Krishen’s office in Crowley. “I gave her CPR and when I saw that she had coughed up the blood I was scared and angry at the same time. I wasn’t going to let that animal get the satisfaction of taking my child.”
Chyna had been shot four times. Once in the arm, twice in the back and once in the neck. The last shot paralyzed her from the neck down.
She was taken to American Legion Hospital in Crowley where they flew her to Lafayette General Hospital. She was eventually taken to TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and began her lengthy recovery and rehabilitation.
Guillory was arrested later that day and has since pleaded guilty to attempted murder. He was sentenced to 40 years. Lawrence Babineaux, who was used as a decoy by Guillory, is serving time also.
“I couldn’t even attend the sentencing,” said Yokum. “I was afraid I might try to go after him in the courtroom.”
That’s where Guillory’s story ends and Chyna’s ongoing path to recovery begins. After several months of “‘intense rehabilitation,” Chyna slowly regained feeling in her upper torso. Presently, she can move her shoulders a little and looks forward to eventually walking again.
Chyna gave birth to a daughter, Jada Ma’Rae Faith Young, on October 17, 2011.
“When I first saw her I was scared,” said Chyna. “She was three months premature and was in an incubator with a tube in her mouth.”
Jada, as she is called by Chyna and Yokum, gained strength quickly and is presently being cared for by Yokum’s sister-in-law while Yokum spends every free moment she has with Chyna at Camelot Place in Crowley undergoing therapy. According to Yokum, Jada is “super feisty and very strong willed.”
It must run in the family.
“She’s just starting to realize that she can make noise,” said Chyna who rolled her eyes the way any mother of an infant would.
Chyna graduated with honors from Crowley High School in May of 2011. She had plans to attend college and become a nurse before she was shot. Her mother wasn’t sure she would ever be able to attend college with her injuries. Then one day Chyna had a surprise for her mother.
“I came into her room one day Chyna asked ‘Momma, I need to see your W2’,” said Yokum. “So I asked her ‘why do you need to see that?’”
“So I can see if I qualify for financial aid,” responded Chyna.
Without her mother’s knowledge Chyna, who by this time was using her computer with a utensil she holds in her mouth, had applied to McNeese St. University. On January 6 of this year, she received a letter from McNeese St. University informing her that she had been accepted. The only thing that changed was her major. She now intends to major in criminal justice.
Yokum had received a restraining order against Guillory but he kept threatening her. Yokum can barely contain her anger when she discusses how the law works in such situations.
“That restraining order is just a piece of paper, nothing more,” she said. “There needs to be a law saying that if a person makes threats after receiving a restraining order they should be picked up by police.”
“I’m going to contact every person I can...my state representative, my senator to see if I can get the law changed,” Yokum continued. “And I’d like it to be called the ‘Chyna and Jada Law.’