In 2009, when Ondelee Perteet was 14, he was shot in the jaw at a birthday party on Chicago’s West Side. The bullet severed his spine, paralyzing him from the neck down. His doctors told him that he would never walk again, but three and a half years later, he is beginning to walk with the help of crutches.

The Chicago Reporter has been following Perteet’s story over the past year.

[Produced by Carlos Javier Ortiz in collaboration with Jonathan Gibby; additional reporting by James Reddick]

YouTube video