OAKLAND calif., - On Erin McDonell's 14th birthday, he never imagined he would spend the year relearning how to walk.
McDonell, a freshman at Cardinal Newman High School, was hit by a drunk driver while riding his bike in May 2021.
The crash killed another cyclist.
McDonell broke multiple bones and lost most of his left leg.
But, the multi-sport high school athlete would not let that stop him from chasing his goals.
"Sports didn’t really cross my mind," McDonell said. "I was wondering how I’d live my life and how it would affect me."
McDonell, was forced to shift his focus away from sports and toward recovery.
After numerous surgeries, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg.
"I had a lot of problems with my leg,"he said. "I had to learn how to walk with no pain, get my body adjusted to it."
After months of painful rehab, McDonell made a shocking return to the football field.
"I was very excited to be out there, and couldn’t have enjoyed myself anymore," McDonell said.
He is also on the high school wrestling team and is a force to be reckoned with on the mat.
McDonell even recieved advice from one of his wrestling role models, Anthony Robles.
Robles was an NCAA wrestling champion who was born with one leg.
McDonell said Robels told him to up his body strength, to never give up and to never give up.
McDonell hopes to keep excelling on the field, on the mat, and to make his coaches, friends and family proud.
"He’s not given up with the circumstances he’s been dealt, he’s mentally strong, and I just couldn’t be any prouder."