Man who lost leg in hit-and-run collision comes home
HIALEAH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida man who lost his leg after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver returned home Sunday for the first time since the crash.
Twenty-four-year-old Jonathan Cordero said he considers himself very fortunate to have survived the July 21 crash, calling his recovery "amazingly great."
"He was just sitting on a bus stop, not doing anything to look for this problem," said Natalie Cordero, the victim's sister. "It's kind of crazy, just a freak accident."
The accident claimed the life of 47-year-old John Ranieri, who was also struck by Henry Paz when the driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the bus stop at West 49th Street and 16th Avenue in Hialeah. "We were just having random conversations, and the next thing we know, we were hit."
Paz faces several charges, including DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash with a death and with serious injuries.
Jonathan survived the collision, but his left leg had to be amputated below the knee. "Things happen, and we don't know why, but I'm just happy his life was spared, and he's here with us," said Franchesca Cordero, another sister.
The 24-year-old said he has made remarkable progress, but such victories did not come easily. "I wasn't able to move, I wasn't able to use the bathroom on my own, I wasn't able to eat on my own, I wasn't able to talk on my own, but now I'm actually doing a lot better," said Jonathan.
The Home Depot employee said he has had to undergo grueling therapy just so he could start walking again. "We're working out a lot every day, at least 2 or 3 hours every day, trying to get my ankle to level back on the floor, so I can start walking again," he said.
The Cordero Family is working to raise money for the various prosthetics Jonathan will need. So far they've raised $6,330 on a GoFundMe website.
"Right now we have a set goal of $30,000 because prosthetic legs cost [anywhere] from $30,000 to $40,000 each, and in the future he's going to need two or three of them, or three or four of them," said Natalie.
With his family's support, Jonathan said he is anxious to get his life back on track, including heading back to one of his two jobs. "I will be [going] to work on Monday," he said, as he talked directly to the camera. "Home Depot!"
For more information on how to donate to the Corderos' GoFundMe account, log on to http://www.gofundme.com/jayfund.
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