SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A local teen paralyzed over the summer is recovering back at home and with new movement.
“Welcome home,” Kevin Fritz hugged his son after landing at the Sacramento International Airport. “I missed him a lot.”
An emotional, but exciting time for the Fritz family who is finally together after five months.
“Just glad to be back on California soil with him,” his mother Sarah Fritz said while fighting back tears.
“It’s so awesome,” said Ashton Fritz as he was greeted by camera crews. “I missed my brothers so much. I missed my dad so much.”
It’s been a tough road. While Ashton has been gaining strength at Craig Hospital in Denver with his mother, his father has been working and taking care of their two other sons back at home.
“It’s been a long journey, and I think you just look back and say that was real,” Kevin said.
It was a freak accident at summer camp. Ashton did a backflip and broke his neck, which paralyzed him from the chest down.
But he never let that stop him.
“With this kind of injury you’re always going to have your low moments, but you can’t let that get in the way of your high moments,” Ashton said.
Through rehab at Craig Hospital, which focuses on several spinal injuries, Ashton has even regained mobility in his arms.
“My strength has improved a lot,” he said.
But there’s still a long and expensive road to recovery.
“We would love to see him walk again, but given the level of his injury I don’t know that will happen, but God could easily work miracles,” his mother said.
For now, Sarah Fritz said this is just the new norm, and they’re happy with that.
“He’s still him. He’s just in a power chair. He’s ready to get going,” she said.
Determined as ever, ready to graduate high school, and ready to be an inspiration to others.
“Just to keep going and to push through and to never think negative thoughts because they don’t help. Only the positive thoughts will help,” Ashton said.
It could take up to two years to find out just how much mobility Ashton will get back, but they’re remaining hopeful.
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