By Marlee Ginter

EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) — You won’t hear 16-year-old Bassem Mansour gripe about getting out of his wheelchair. He’s proud to show his progress and he has come a long way.

“I just remember waking up in the ER not being able to feel or move anything below my chest,” he said.

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Bassem was riding his bike in October 2020 when a pickup truck sideswiped him and then dragged him 50 feet.

“I was kind of laying there basically lifeless with just my head working,” said Bassem.

It would take nine surgeries at UC Davis Medical Center, multiple skin grafts and extensive rehab to get him to where he is today—a year and a half later.

“But watching every piece of it was very painful,” said his dad, Yakout.

“You almost want to stop breathing because every breath you take takes you further in time and you don’t know what it will be,” said his mom, Silvie.

And it’s not the first time UC Davis Health doctors saved his life.

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The first time, Bassem was just six months old fighting stage four cancer. Right beside him was the same nurse who would help him through his accident 15 years later.

“They did save my life and they also saved my body. I wouldn’t be able to be here if it wasn’t for them,” said Bassem.

Jana Poehling, now retired, recently got to see Bassem for the first time since the hospital.

“They are like family and they’re so appreciative. Their words are way too kind, but it makes your job so worthwhile and it’s something you’ll never forget,” said Poehling.

Bassem didn’t forget either. He and his parents just started the Bassem Mansour Pediatric Trauma Therapy Fund, raising money for the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program, the same program that helped him recover. He’s not only back on a bike, he’s skiing and mapping out what’s next in life.

“I look at him and his determination to do so and I can’t be more proud,” Yakout said.

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“Even though I’m in a wheelchair and I don’t have most of my mobility, I still feel it’s a gift,” said Bassem.