Teen run over by bus discharged from hospital
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida teen who suffered severe brain damage after he was run over by a transit bus has been discharged from the hospital, but doctors cautioned he faces a long road to recovery.
Fourteen-year-old Jerry Cunningham is set to continue his therapy at his Pompano Beach home after spending one month at Jackson Memorial Hospital and another month at a Broward hospital prior to that. His father, Jerry Cunningham Sr., said he is in a much better state. "I always say, my son is a miracle because he's alive," he said. "Nobody knows how."
The teenager had been running to catch a Broward County Transit bus to school on May 10, near 1199 East Sample Road, in Fort Lauderdale. Right as he was about to get on the bus, only his arm made it through the' door, and he was caught and dragged for several feet before he was run over by the vehicle's rear wheels. Doctors said the impact broke nearly every bone in his body.
Bryan Clark was a passenger on the bus. Through tears, he recalled the horror of the day when he watched Cunningham get run over. "Everybody on the bus was screaming, 'Stop!' and he just ignored us. And then he said, 'Oh, I didn't see him.' How do you not see a hand and everybody screaming at you to stop?"
Two months to the day of the accident, Cunningham is once again walking, bouncing a ball, and has re-learned to speak. "When we came here," said his father, "like they said, he needed a lot of help, and the second day he called me, 'Dad' ..." adds the elder Cunningham before breaking down crying.
Cunningham Sr. also spoke about the early days of his son's recovery. "After the fifth day, he woke up. He opened his eyes, so that day, the doctor said, 'Right now, it's a 50-50 chance, so we have to wait.' So we've been waiting day by day, day by day."
Cunningham's physical therapist said his patient has made remarkable progress as he learns to walk again. "He can walk, and he does well, but if there's something in his way, he maybe doesn't see it."
In addition to his family, the teen is also receiving support from his classmates, who joined together outside his school to form his name initials and yell in unison, "We love you, Jerry."
Cunningham's family said speech and physical therapists will assist the teen at home as he continues his recovery.
After an investigation, that bus driver has since been demoted and is no longer allowed behind the wheel of a Broward County Transit bus.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)