Two weeks after being wounded in the UNC Charlotte shooting, Drew Pescaro walked for the first time under his own power.
Stepping down the hospital hall while holding onto an IV pole, the 19-year-old walked with his mother and a hospital employee at his side.
“Update: Day 13. Took my first steps without a walker today so I felt the need to share it with everyone,” Pescaro posted Monday on Twitter.
Erin Wilson, Pescaro’s girlfriend, said it hurts to see him struggle, but she’s proud of how far he’s come.
“I am so proud of seeing him strive to make progress despite the pain he is facing,” Wilson told CNN via Twitter on Tuesday. “At the same time, it is really difficult watching my 19-year-old boyfriend have to work on using his legs again and recovering after such a life-changing injury.”
Wilson took over Pescaro’s Twitter account to post updates about his condition and recovery.
“It’s something he should have never experienced in the first place, but I am beyond proud of how he has handled his recovery,” she said.
Pescaro, who is from Apex, North Carolina, was one of the six students shot during the April 30 shooting, according to the student paper, the Niner Times. Pescaro is a sports writer for the campus paper, it confirmed.
The campus shooting claimed the lives of students Reed Parlier and Riley Howell. Three other students also were hurt.
Wounded student Emily Houpt, 23, from Charlotte, walked across the stage at the school’s graduation ceremony last weekend. Rami Al-Ramadhan, 20, of Saihat, Saudi Arabia, and Sean DeHart, 20, of Apex, also were injured.
Since the shooting, Pescaro has had two surgeries and is still in the hospital, according to his Twitter account.
A photo from Saturday shows Pescaro smiling in his hospital bed with an update from Wilson.
“We still have a little time left here in the hospital, but Drew is feeling strong, and as you can see, he is happy as ever to be a Niner!” Wilson told UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip DuBois.
“We are as happy as ever for him to be a Niner, too,” DuBois wrote on UNCC’s website.
While recovering, Pescaro has had some notable visitors stop by his room.
Fred Whitfield, president of the Charlotte Hornets, visited last Thursday and posed for a picture.
And Carolina Panthers wide receiver Chris Hogan surprised Pescaro, who is a big fan.
“The entire Carolina Panthers team and staff have been AMAZING in supporting Drew through his recovery process,” said a May 8 tweet on Pescaro’s account. “Thank you, Chris — we loved you as a Patriot and can’t wait to see you as a Panther.”