Mr. Penny returns home from hospital, long road to recovery - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Mr. Penny returns home from hospital, long road to recovery ahead

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

The man most people know as Mr. Penny is recovering at his home in Auburn after almost three months in the hospital. 

For nearly 40 years, Johnny Richmond, known as Mr. Penny, helped generations of kids cross the street at Dean Road Elementary School in Auburn.  While, Mr. Penny is still a long way from returning to his corner, he is one step closer. 

His wife, Lula, says it was a joy-filled day when they brought her husband home from the hospital on Monday. "I just thank God that he brought him this far. Because you know, it could have been the other way, but God has brought this far."

Almost three months ago, Auburn University's biggest football fan, suffered serious injuries from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  His family did not want our cameras to disturb him, but they told News Leader 9 about the recovery ahead for Mr. Penny.

"He will have rehab done mostly on his left side because he's not able to move that left leg and left arm the way he should," said his wife.

The man who is famous for his push-ups will have to learn some basic things all over again much like former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Mr. Penny will have to go through speech therapy, and even though some doctors say it is not possible, his daughter, Marenda Richmond, says family members believe he will learn to walk again.

"He's talking a little bit.  If I ask him something, he will respond back.  If I tell him I love him, he will tell me he loves me back.  And, I will tell him to say my name and he'll say my name," Mr. Penny's daughter said of his recovery.

Mr. Penny's mother, Dora Lockhart, says the last three months have been challenging, but as long as they rely on their faith and each other, they will make it through.

"It is going to be a hard road to take up.  But, we just have to pull together and be loving each other," said Lockhart.

If you would like to help Auburn's biggest fan, family members say a fund has been set up in his name at Auburn Bank.  You need to ask to donate to the Mr. Penny Fund.

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