POSTED: Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 3:58pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 11:55am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Cyclist Danny Morris took his first step towards making a full recovery today, Thursday, March 22. That’s because he began a six week physical therapy program that hopes to get him walking again.
“I’m really not going to know for like a year how extensive the nerve damage is,” Morris told NBC33 News. “It’s going to be slow getting me back walking again, but I’ve got a good start on it.”
Morris spent 21 days in a hospital after a drunk driver slammed into him while he was riding his bike with friends down Perkins Road. The accident destroyed Danny's femur. It was disconnected from his hip and his pelvis was separated, for which a metal “fixator” was attached the exterior of his body. That was finally removed yesterday. He also suffered from injuries to his tail bone and his spine, and his ankle was broken in two places.
“I just feel like a normal person again,” Morris said. “Not like a robot. I’m ready to get back to work.”
Morris spent 7 days in a medically induced coma and says he remembers very little about the day of that accident.
“I have no recollection of what happened,” he explains. “People have helped me piece back parts of the day.
“At 6:00 in the evening we left Mid City Bikes,” he continued. “There’s about a two hour gap I couldn’t fill. Then we headed to Perkins and that’s the last thing I remember.”
Morris was not alone on that ride. His close friend Nathan Crowson was also struck by the driver, only he passed away on scene.
“If I really think about it I don’t want to remember any of the pain I felt or watching Nathan die,” Morris said. “I don’t know if it will ever come back to me, but in a way I guess it helps me cope with it all. It’s almost like nothing happened because I didn’t feel any of the crazy pain.”
Support from the community has been another surprise that has helped Morris down his road to recovery. Several fundraising efforts have happened to help pay for the mounting medical bills he’s facing.
"Strangers doing benefits for me? I never would have imagined that support. Before the accident, I felt a little like a loner. I didn’t really have many friends. Now everyone wants to help me, and it’s been really great.”
Morris says his medical bills are currently in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. He says he doesn’t know what will end up being covered, or what he will have to pay for out of pocket.
“As far as reparations from the driver, I don’t really think anything is going to come from that,” he said.
For now, Morris is focused on one thing and one thing alone – riding his bike again and returning to normal, everyday life.
“As soon as I can - I don’t have any blocks preventing me from wanting to ride again,” he said. “I miss my bike so much.”