Published: May 02, 2013 10:44 PM EDT
Updated: May 02, 2013 10:53 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, FL--This is story of survival and betrayal. A Cape Coral teenager opens up for the first time since becoming paralyzed after he was accidentally shot on New Year's Eve. Police say his best friend pulled the trigger and refused to take him to the hospital for hours.

"Always active, you know? Going to the park and playing basketball and play football," said Evan Vernadakis.

 Vernadakis described his life before a bullet left him strapped to his wheelchair.

"Not a day goes by I don't think about what happened," he said.

A day when his life changed forever. Evan was at a party with his then best friend 19 year old, Michael Korf, when he says Korf pulled out a revolver to show off.

"Out of the corner of my eye I seen the gun getting pointed at me and I hear a boom," said Vernadakis.

Evan was shot in the chest and the bullet pierced through one of his lungs and hit his spinal cord which paralyzed him instantly.


"And then it was getting harder for me to breath and I was begging him to bring me to the hospital," said Vernadakis.

Police say Korf didn't take Evan to Cape Coral Hospital until nearly 18 hours later because of  getting in trouble.
Earlier this week, Korf turned himself in to police after they issued a warrant for his arrest.

"I wouldn't wish this on anybody, except him," Vernadakis.

No matter what happens to Korf, Evan's family says they are grateful for each day.
     
Evan now plans to try and live as normal of a life as possible, but he says knowing his once best friend is free right now is just wrong.

"I am paralyzed and he made bond and he is able to be out walking around and live his normal life," said Vernadakis.

Doctors say if Evan would have gotten to a hospital sooner, he still would have been paralyzed, but the damage to his lungs would not be as severe.