LAS FLORES (CBSLA.com) — He’s spent most of his life in a wheelchair.
Octavio Nieto, a 17-year-old senior in Orange County, walked about two weeks ago — the very first time in his life — to the cheers of his friends and classmates.
The walk was captured on cell phone video. It was just a few steps — but he was just getting started.
Nieto is a student at Tesoro High School and enrolled in a program for students with special needs.
Friday evening, KCAL9’s Stacey Butler spoke to Kevin Corbett and Dave Bulloch, the two teacher who helped inspire Nieto to walk.
“It’s just been the most incredible Christmas present you could ask for as a teacher to be able to see a student take his first steps,” said Corbett.
“He fell into my arms and looked up at me and looked me right in the eyes,” said Bulloch about Nieto’s very first triumphant steps.
Then the teen told his teachers something profound.
“I can do anything with the help of God and we just sat there and we go, are you serious and he says nothing is impossible with God,” Nieto said.
On Thursday, Nieto took about 50 steps without his walker. He had been told for years he would never walk.
In early December, while trying to get around the school track while using his walker, he looked up and saw a plane.
He thought it was something else.
“And he asked me, is that a shooting star? And I said no buddy that’s a plane, why do you ask? And he goes oh, cause I wanted to make a wish,” said Bulloch.
The teachers asked Nieto what his wish was.
“He just came out and said I want to be able to walk without a walker,” said Corbett.
“I said why do you want to do that and he said because I want you guys to be proud of me,” Corbett recalls.
Nieto didn’t just teach his teachers and classmates about determination, he taught them something about walking in faith.
“I think that’s a pretty powerful lesson he was able to teach all of us. Sometimes I wonder who’s doing the teaching,” says Bulloch.
Nieto made his first steps, but they’re clearly not going to be his last.
The teachers told Butler Nieto’s new with is to walk across the stage at his graduation in May without using his walker.