A paralyzed teenager who was unsure if he would ever walk again after he dove into a sandbar at a Long Island beach breaking his neck took his first unaided steps only four months after his accident.
Nico Fiorello, 17, walked a few steps without the help of doctors on Wednesday during a news conference at Nassau University Medical Center.
The Long Island teen was hurt at Jones Beach in May and has since undergone two surgeries, which included having a metal plate inserted into his spine. Months of rehabilitation followed.
"It was really frustrating at first because when I was in the hospital, I couldn't move anything," Fiorello said. "I wanted to move my body and get up and to feed myself."
Needing other people to aid him was hard to get used to, he added.
"I never have been someone who really liked a lot of help from others. I like to do things by myself, so I had to take a lot of time getting used to having other people help me," he said.
Fiorello's neurosurgeon said the recovery was remarkable, and that the chances of such a quick recovery from an injury like his were slim.
The teenager said he wants to join his high school's lacrosse team in the spring.