ONLY ON 3: Cleveland boy hit on bike recovering from brain injury
Doctors say he's a miracle. After hitting an SUV while riding his bike, 11-year-old Jeffery Hussey, Jr. has awoken from a coma and is learning to function with a brain injury.
Like most little boys, Jeffrey loves playing outside.
On April 10th, his mom took him to a friends house to ride bikes, but minutes later, he rode out into traffic on Bates Pike in Cleveland: a moment that nearly ended his life.
His family hopes his story is a lesson to local kids and their parents when it comes to bike safety.
"I must've called eight times and he never answered and I knew there was something wrong," says Jeffrey's mom, Brenda Johnson.
Johnson remembers that drive back down Bates Pike well -- the sound of sirens and a sinking feeling in her stomach. When she got there, her nightmare was realized. Jeffrey had veered into traffic and slammed into an SUV on his bike, and he wasn't wearing a helmet.
"It was horrible. Just absolutely horrible," she said.
"His head smashed into the driver's side window and busted it," Jeffrey's dad, Jeffrey Hussey, Sr. said, "It looked like a car had T-boned it."
Amazingly, Jeffrey was hanging onto life, but in a coma with a cracked skull and bleeding brain.
"It really hurt to see your son lying in the bed pretty much lifeless," Hussey said.
But, he let his family know he was going to fight.
"When I held his hand by his bedside, he got a hard squeeze on it and wouldn't let go," Hussey said.
"He's got a very strong determination and he's very strong will. Always has been," Johnson said.
Now Jeffrey is walking, smiling, and giving hand signs to let you know he understands what you're saying.
His brain is still swollen, but he's making huge strides in his therapy at Siskin Hospital.
"By the grace of God he's here. All I did was keep praying," Johnson said.
"Doctors found it a miracle that he recovered as fast as he did and didn't get no worse than he did," Hussey said, "I know he's not going to remember what happened, but I hope he learns from it. I hope all the other kids learn from this."
READ MORE | Boy on bike collides with SUV, flown to hospital
His parents hope his story makes local parents and kids realize how important helmets are.
"He generally doesn't wear it, but I didn't think about it that day," Johnson said.
"I feel if he had his helmet on it wouldn't have been as bad as it was," Hussey said.
"If we can at least get to one child and have them wear a helmet, it's going to make the world of difference," Johnson said.
As for the woman driving the SUV that day, she was so upset, she was taken to the hospital for chest pains.
"Even she said she felt like he saved her life. She had a blood clot in her heart and because of that accident, they found it. I find it a real privilege and blessing God used my son to save someone else's life," Hussey said.
"I think they'll be forever connected," Johnson said.
They say the driver calls regularly to check up on Jeffrey, and they reassure her it's not her fault since she was going the speed limit.
Doctor's estimate he'll be in Siskin for 12 weeks total. Once he's out, they plan to meet with the driver, and emergency responders to thank them in person.
They also want to thank the community for the hundreds of prayers, get well cards, and visits they've gotten-- especially from Taylor Elementary School where Jeffrey is a fifth grader.