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  1. ITV Report

Star teen athlete left paralysed by car crash takes first steps on running track

Tre Lawson has returned to the running track two years after a car crash. left him paralysed. Credit: Tre Lawson

When Tre Lawson returned to the running track, it wasn't just a half-hearted attempt to regain fitness.

The 19-year-old was taking his first steps on a long, long journey to ditch his wheelchair and walking frame following a horror car crash that left him paralysed from the waist down.

He posted a short video on Facebook and Twitter - and it has been viewed more than 3.7 million times, generating more than 112,000 likes and tens of thousands of retweets.

Tre told ITV News: "I’m shocked just to even see my video all over the globe.

"I thought it would only meet a few hundred people but millions of people? That’s amazing."

He added: "The ultimate goal now is to walk around the track with no support and then run around the track!"

Tre, from Georgia, in the US, was aged 17 and a promising track and field athlete, when the car he was travelling in crashed on the way back from an athletics meeting.

It tumbled down a ravine and the teenager suffered catastrophic injuries requiring extensive surgery to remove his pancreas, gall bladder, a foot long part of his intestine and stomach reconstruction.

But the most devastating result of the crash was that he was left paralysed from the waist down.

Tre Lawson out in front on the running track before his accident. Credit: Tre Lawson/Facebook

But once he left hospital some four weeks later, he was already planning to get out of his wheelchair as soon as possible.

He told ITV News: "You set goals that some say you never will meet.

"April 7 was just a day that I show people, despite what some may say, willpower is greater."

And on Sunday, the latest chapter in his against-all-odds story took place as he stepped on to the running track, leaving his wheelchair behind.

"I’ve dreamed of the day when I would be finally strong enough to go around a track," he tweeted.

Tre Lawson has undergone intensive physiotherapy to get back walking. Credit: Tre Lawson/Twitter

Tre, who is studying early childhood development and special education, still uses a wheelchair to get around college in Fort Valley.

But he is determined one day to not only leave the chair behind, but also the walker he used on Sunday.