(CBS) – Teen Andrew Podczerwinski was hit by a tree during a storm last summer and he’s now paralyzed from the waist down.
“The last thing I remember is walking in waist-deep water as the storm hit and I don’t remember anything else,” the 15-year-old says.
He suffered numerous injuries, including two fractured vertebrae. After surgery and a two-week stay in the hospital, he continued his recovery at home.
Now in a wheelchair, Podczerwinski says his life has changed because of his lack of mobility, but otherwise he is still a “regular kid.”
“I go to rehab six days a week, a go to the gym, a do my homework, I go to school — I have the same friends,” he says.
Lemont High School administrators say Andrew has been an inspiration to his classmates and the school’s faculty and staff this year. Now the school community is getting ready to come together to support Andrew and his family at a special event.
Lemont High School will host the “Walk with Andrew” 5K on Sunday April 28. Proceeds from the recreational event will benefit Andrew as he takes his steps towards walking again.
“I’ve been overwhelmed. I feel blessed so many are willing to support and help me,” he says.
The $20 registration fee includes a “Walk with Andrew” T-shirt.
“I know that I will walk again. I know for sure,” the teen says.
For more information about Andrew Podczerwinski’s story and his recovery, click here.