Hit-and-run victim rebuilding life

January 21, 2009 3:50:36 PM PST
The victim of a hit-and-run in South Jersey is making a remarkable recovery and rebuilding his life after the crash that nearly killed him.Freelance journalist Brian Hickey doesn't like wearing the helmet that protects his fragile brain, or the brace that protects his vertebrae, but he loves being alive, and he knows that is a blessing.

"I do appreciate life more, it's a gift, and I have it; it vey easily could have been taken away from me," Hickey said.

The 35-year-old East Falls resident was about to board a PATCO train home from Collingswood on November 28.

A driver crashed into him along North Atlantic Avenue, and took off. Brian doesn't remember a thing.

He eventually woke from a coma, and progressed enough to be released from the Magee Rehab Center late last week.

"I blocked out hating the driver, it didn't even enter my mind through the recovery; it's creeping in now and it'll creep in when I'm healthy again," Hickey said.

Brain does have a long road to recovery. He still has spinal injuries that need to heal and doctors need to reattach two large portions of his skull.

Still, a lot of people didn' think he would wake up, let alone, walk again.

Brian has dabbled into politics, along with news reporting.

He hopes to return to writing and reporting, once his brain can handle the stress.

As for the driver who hit him: "It would be nice if he turned himself in, too, because he or she is responsible for almost killing me. Fact of the matter, they hit me, they left me for dead," Hickey said.

That was nearly eight weeks ago.

Collingswood police are still searching for a break in the case.

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