AUBURN (CBS13) – A Placer High School student is back on the tennis court after suffering a severe brain injury in a crash last September.
Andrew Carducci, 16, has been missing from the court for the past six months, and the reason is still a blur.
“We were getting on the onramp of the freeway and that’s where I forget,” said Andrew.
He says the driver was going fast on the onramp.
“We bounced off the side. The driver lost control and then we bounced back into it and that’s when we started rolling,” said Andrew. “The next thing I remember is the helicopter. I thought it was a dream.”
For Andrew’s mother Kelly, it was a nightmare.
“I actually heard the helicopter and ambulance from my work. I thought in my head, ‘I hope it’s not Andrew,’ ” she said.
But her worst fears were realized that day.
“When I saw my phone and the missed calls from my husband I had a sinking feeling,” said Kelly.
Doctors say Andrew suffered from a severe brain injury.
“Once I came in and saw him and he was alive, it was all that I needed,” Kelly said.
The next few months would be a tough road.
“For two weeks I couldn’t eat or drink,” Andrew said.
Simple daily tasks most of us take for granted were impossible for Andrew, including how to stand and walk.
“Basically, everything a toddler learns,” he said.
“There were two of us that had to hold him to walk,” Andrew’s nurse said.
With the help of physical therapists and Wii Tennis, Andrew is now able to run.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.
“With his motivation and physical therapy guidance, he’s made a remarkable recovery,” Andrew’s doctor said.
Andrew’s mother couldn’t be happier with his recovery.
“I’m just so thrilled with his progress,” Kelly said.
As for Andrew, he’s just happy to be back in school and on the court. He just finished his first match since his injury.
“I’m amazed but I’m not surprised by who he is. He does a great job,” Andrew’s nurse said.
Andrew is already looking forward to college and wants to major in mechanical engineering.