Wife of shooting victim works with inner-city kids to cope

Paralyzed lawyer's wife, reconciles their crime while working for inner-city youth

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The wife of a prominent local lawyer who was crippled by a shooting in his own driveway shared her family's road to recovery Friday. Grace Kaynor volunteers at Café Reconcile, which is having a fundraiser all weekend.

The last three years have been a struggle for the Kaynors, but they've found a measure of peace after a tragedy that shook the Lower Garden District.

"Police came in my room and told me my husband was shot," Grace Kaynor said.

Her husband, Sandy Kaynor, an attorney with one of the city's most prestigious firms, was shot outside his home in October 2012, leaving him alive but paralyzed.

"I said 'you will be okay,' and he said, 'I will never be okay. I can't feel my legs,'" Grace said.

Sandy was a man who loved the city and left his job in New York to come here after Katrina.

"He loved waking up in New Orleans," Grace said. "He said, how's my sweet wife? Aren't we lucky to live in the most beautiful city in the world?"

He now requires almost constant care.

"To see a person who was so vibrant - to see him suffering is very difficult," Grace said.

What she and her husband have been through has been a struggle, but she finds time to spend at Cafe Reconcile to try to cope with her situation by helping someone else.

"We just invited her down here and thought it would be an interesting connect, and it was," said Kaynor friend Virginia Miller.

Grace Kaynor organized the fundraising lunch at Cafe Reconcile, the Central City restaurant dedicated to helping inner city youth.

"We didn't want to have feelings of bitterness or hatred," Grace said. "We wanted to take this experience and find a way to give back to the community."

The Kaynor's 17-year-old son also volunteers at the cafe.

"I don't think my husband would want me to give up," Grace said. "It's too beautiful a place to give up on."

Three members of the "Marly Gang" were arrested in the shooting. Twenty-three-year-old Byron Johnson was sentenced to 45 years in prison. Two others stand trial next month.

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