TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - It's not where you spend Thanksgiving, it's with whom you spend it. That's the sentiment of one Toledo family after tragedy nearly took one of its members away.
"This is going to be a memory, a true memory," said Anthony Taylor's mother, Deborah Adeyemi.
The Taylor family refused to let anything get in the way of their family dinner. They weren't sure if Anthony Taylor would be able to celebrate Thanksgiving.
"It was the worst day we had ever known. My sister called me and I can't describe the sound in her voice when she said, 'the hospital called and said they want us to get to the trauma center, Tony has been in an accident,'" said Vanorian Taylor, Taylor's aunt.
The accident happened in May of 2004. Each day since has been a brutal battle with Taylor spending months at a time undergoing surgeries several times per week, including one a week ago. But he wasn't doing it alone; his family was right by his side holding his hand, rooting for him.
"People take life for granted, until something tragic like this happens. And then you could really see that all you've got in your corner is your loved ones. And you know, I'm really grateful for that," said Anthony Taylor.
This family is steeped in love and tradition. Last week's surgery put a bump in the road, placing Taylor in the hospital instead of with family. So doctors, nurses, and the Taylor family - all 20 of them - cooked it and brought Thanksgiving to him.
"This means the world because all of us being up here and being able to spend Thanksgiving with Anthony. It was a touch-and-go situation with him. And we didn't think he was going to make it and he did," said Adeyemi.
A week ago, the family prayed against odds that Taylor would pull through. His fighting spirit lead the way. His family believes his positive outlook on life has been the true inspiration to his survival.
"I believe that's been the true inspiration to his survival, is his outlook. He's just always had that very good outlook, and he is just a survivor. He's just conditioned to survive," said Regina Smith, Taylor's aunt.
One week later, they give thanks for his presence and his continued recovery.
"He's a fighter. I am just so blessed to have a son like Anthony. I am just so blessed," said Adeyemi.