Paralyzed teen returns home for first time since crash

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- It's been a long few months for a Lakewood teen who was paralyzed in a car crash back in November.

Andre Lang-Watchman was a passenger in the car that slammed into a tree in the front yard of a Wheat Ridge home.  Two of his friends died in the alcohol-related crash and a third was injured.  Since that accident Lang has been undergoing therapy at Craig Hospital.  But Saturday, he moved back into his home.

"It's the first day home in about six months. It's been a long, long time," said Andre Lang-Watchman, who was paralyzed in the crash.

Lang-Watchman is now a quadriplegic and depends on his family to do everything for him. including feeding him and bathing him.

"My spine broke at the level C4 and it's fairly high up. I shouldn't be moving my left arm at all but I managed to get that back," Lang-Watchman said.

It's really quite amazing because his doctors gave him less than a one percent chance of being able to move or feel his arms ever again.

"I'm very stubborn and I wouldn't take no for answer," said Lang-Watchman.

Physically Lang-Watchman's body is healing, but emotionally there isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't think about the crash.  He said the scariest moments were actually right before the crash when he noticed his friend who was driving the car was getting more drunk.

"He was running red lights.  He started to swerve into the other lanes.  He even pulled into somebody’s front lawn," Lang-Watchman said.

Moments later the car crashed and for two hours paramedics worked to get Lang-Watchman out of the car.

"Where the seat belt was is where my spine broke," said Lang-Watchman.

Lang-Watchman's life has forever changed, but he said he's not going to give up.  In fact being home with his loved ones has given Lang-Watchman a new reason to smile and stay motivated to keep strong.

Neighbors are rebuilding the Watchman home using their own money and donations.  Most of the work is done, but they still need appliances like a washer and dryer as well as everything in the kitchen including a dishwasher, refrigerator and a stove.

To donate you can go to Lang-Watchman's website or his family has set up an account called Andre Lang trust at Vectra Bank at 7391 W. 38th Avenue Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

(Video originally aired on FOX31 Denver)