Zach Pickett had just finished his life guarding shift at Cameron Park Lake in August 2012. Hoping to cool down – he dove in.
But, he didn't see the sand bar under the water and hit it. Zach broke his C-7 vertebrae on impact.
"I didn't have any idea of what happened," Zach said. "I just knew that I couldn't feel or move anything from my waist down."
Doctors said to prepare for the worst -- unsure if he'd ever be able to walk again.
But that never stopped Zach from hoping for the best.
"You can get through pretty much anything if you go and put your mind to it," Zach said.
After countless hours of intense physical therapy at the UC Davis Children's Hospital, the Ponderosa High School graduate is now back on his feet -- a milestone nearly two years in the making.
"I can't even put words on it. When he started walking, and then as he's just gotten better and better with it," a Children's Hospital Physical Therapist said. "It's definitely a mountain top experience, that's the best way to describe it."
Zach has a message to anyone who has fallen on tough times:
"You just gotta be grateful for what you have, and I'm trying to show people that you can get through anything with support, and help, and drive."
Here's how you can help the Children's Hospital:
News10 and the Children's Miracle Network is teaming up to host the 20-hour Give for Kids Telethon (#Give4Kids) on Friday to help raise money for UC Davis Children's Hospital.
From 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. you can call 1-877-719-KIDS (5437) to donate using all forms of payment, including cash through a pledge.
Or go to https://giveamiracle.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org to donate online.
Your donation will be used to improve, advance and support patient care at the UC Davis Children's Hospital. It's the cornerstone of the Children's Miracle Network -- money given by our community stays in our community.