Harwell Shooting Victim Starts Rehabilitation In Houston


POSTED: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 12:19pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 10:04am

HOUSTON - "Nicko woke up not feeling too good today, but all in all, he has more good days then he does bad," said Donna Tijerina, Mother of Nicholas Tijerina.

After being shot in the back and receiving damage to his spine, Nicholas Tijerina, 13, is working everyday on his recovery. Tijerina and Edson Amaro were shot during basketball tryouts after school in December 2012.

Paralyzed from the waist down, Tijerina is learning to live his life in a wheelchair. It's a long process that requires relearning the things he once did with ease.

"How to be independent, like so everything he does, ya know what he did before in his daily life he can now do for himself. As far as getting in and out of bed, getting dressed, ya know feeding himself, brushing his teeth, taking a shower," said Donna Tijerina.

This also means doing an exercise class too, which requires him to lift weights for an extended period to make sure his muscles stay strong. And even tough Tijerina is at one of the best hospitals in the country,TIRR  in Houston, there is another challenge he is trying to overcome.

"Nicko is the youngest one here, he is the only one that is a child, he's thirteen the rest of them are adults," said Donna Tijerina.

So on top of recovering, Tijerina is also taking on his kid responsibilities of keeping up with his homework and staying in touch friends through texting and Xbox. And since the shooting, Tijerina hasn't been able to leave the hospital. So to make sure he isn't totally board, the hospital is making sure he can still play the sports he loves. 

"They put him in a basketball chair, which is really, really cool because it is light weight and it spins, and it goes like 20 miles an hour. I mean he just flies and he loves the chair," said Donna Tijerina.

Unfortunately doctor's said Tijerina only has a one percent chance of ever walking again, but his family said they are willing to work with any chance they can.

"We are not giving up hope on the prognosis. We are still looking at whatever possibilities we can see, do and try, and there is new studies and all kinds of things so, hopefully ya know, hopefully in the end he will walk again,"
said Donna Tijerina.

Tijerina will continue with rehab throughout the month of February, then he will be released for one month of outpatient care. His mother hopes they are able to find a place in the Valley that can meet his needs for the outpatient care.

Doctor's said it will take Tijerina about a year and a half to rehabilitate.

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