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'This is Drew' | UNC Charlotte shooting victim fills social media with first steps, first meal, final surgery

The 19-year-old student made some great strides at the hospital this week.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Drew Pescaro returned to social media this week, keeping the Queen City informed as he recovers from the shooting at UNC Charlotte on April 30.

Others had been posting for him since the tragedy. But he made it clear on May 11, he was back in action.

"This is Drew running it from now on. Update: Still in the hospital and recovering but feeling much better. Thank you for all of your support!" he tweeted.

Pescaro's post the next day was, of course, about his mom. It was Mother's Day, after all.

"I can’t say enough about my Mom who has been supporting me through this whole process," he tweeted. "So much time has been devoted towards getting me better and she has been at the head of all of it. I love her very much."

Monday was a big day. The 19-year-old took his first steps without a walker.

"I felt the need to share it with everyone," he said.

The video he tweeted showed him walking down the hallway with an IV pole and some assistance. You could hear "Chariots of Fire" playing in the background.

On Wednesday, Pescaro took another big step: His first meal in 15 days.

"A nice spread of grilled cheese, fries, pineapple, ice cream, a cookie, and sweet tea," he tweeted.

That same day, the sports writer for the Niner Times posted a picture of a sign that read "Go Bruins" on Instagram in light of the NHL team being one win away from playing for the Stanley Cup.

"This sign has been hanging in my hospital room since I got here," he said.

Pescaro had a special visitor on Thursday. Katy, a therapy dog, laid on his hospital bed as he stroked her fur.

"Although it’s not my Lilly it was still a great time," he said.

Perhaps the biggest news so far came on Friday when Pescaro tweeted he had his final surgery.

"Enjoy this before and after photo and I really liked my blue hat," he said.

Pescaro has been in the hospital since the campus shooting on April 30. During that time, several high-profile people have stopped by to visit including:

  • Chris Hogan: former New England Patriot, current Carolina Panther 
  • D.J. Moore: Carolina Panther wide receiver 
  • Fred Whitfield: Charlotte Hornets president
  • Larry Ogunjobi: Cleveland Browns defensive tackle, former Charlotte 49er 

Pescaro even FaceTimed with Tim Tebow, former NFL quarterback and current outfielder for the Syracuse Mets.

Pescaro survived the UNC Charlotte shooting along with 23-year-old Emily Houpt, 20-year-old Sean Dehart, and 20-year-old Rami Alramadhan. Houpt received her degree in international studies last weekend.

Ellis "Reed" Parlier, 19, and Riley Howell, 21, the two students killed in the shooting, were honored at commencement. Their families received their sons' diplomas. There are also two permanent scholarships in their memories.


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