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CHICAGO (CBS) — A St. Louis man who was the victim of a hit-and-run on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile – and lost both of his legs – says he is choosing to stay positive.
The person who hit Dr. Bryce Summary has not been tracked down.
For almost a month, Summary has been in and out of surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He spoke for the first time to CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman about the crash that changed his life forever.
Twenty-three days and nine surgeries later, Summary says he can’t wait to leave the hospital and get back to his two boys in St. Louis. He’s leaving having lost a lot – but also having gained a new perspective on life.
It was an impossible conversation when Summary saw his two young sons – Connor and Isaac – for the first time since he lost both his legs in the hit-and-run.
The boys’ questions for their dad were heartbreaking:
“Did everyone see your boo-boo?”
“And the bad guy got away?”
“You were crying?”
But Summary was happy to be with his kids and hug them.
It was day number 23 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for Summary and his wife Amy, who has been at his side ever since the crash that took his legs on May 12.
The couple was in town for a conference. They were walking near Michigan Avenue and Ohio Street when someone driving a white Mercedes Benz tried to take off from a traffic stop.
The driver hit another car before barreling into a building.
Summary was pinned underneath the car. His legs were crushed.
Police said the people in the car ran off.
“I realized he wasn’t behind me, and then I looked, and I found him,” said Amy Summary.
“I just kind of remember feeling trapped, almost,” added Dr. Summary, “and the next thing, I remember is I remember like being in the ambulance, hearing, ‘Tourniquets!'”
Northwestern nurses were nearby and rushed to stop the bleeding in Summary’s legs. Just blocks away at the hospital, doctors told him his legs could not be saved.
“The news was just devastating,” Dr. Summary said. “I think about like not being able, you know, like, chasing my kids around and pick them up. I want to have another child, and I think about, like, how hard it would be to have my legs amputated.”
Dr. Summary is now recovering from his ninth surgery. He is choosing to stay positive – and wants to walk again for his boys.
“They’re like, ‘Daddy, you’re going to have robot legs!'” he said. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to have robot legs.'”
Police said no one is in custody in the hit-and-run. But Bryce and Amy Summary say they are not wasting energy in finding who is responsible for what he has lost.
And even now, Dr. Summary says he’s grateful.
“This is just a challenge that I need to overcome,” he said. “It’s going to make me a better person.”
In an instant, everything changed. But Dr. Summary says he will now create a new normal for his family.
“I plan on being just the same Bryce as I was before,” he said.
From Chicago to St. Louis, the communities are coming together to help with the cost of physical therapy and renovations Dr. Summary will need once he is back home. The fundraisers are being administered through GoFundMe and Show Me Victories.
Bryce and Amy Summary are hopeful they will be back home to their boys in St. Louis by the end of the week. He says he can’t wait.