A young Maine man is back home after being hit while he was walking by a driver whom police allege was drunk on the day after this past Christmas.
On Tuesday, 18-year-old Nick Knowles of North Berwick was able to leave Franciscan Children’s in Boston after spending roughly three months in hospitals.
"It’s a little lonely," said Knowles, speaking exclusively to NECN/NBC 10 Boston about what being away from family and friends in Maine has been like.
His injuries had caused Knowles to lose his ability to walk and eat and diminished his ability to speak.
But medical professionals at Maine Medical Center in Portland and then Franciscan Children’s worked with Knowles who is now able to eat, walk and speak more fully again, though some rehabilitation remains ahead.
"When I first went to the hospital, I was very confused why I couldn’t walk and I was a little sad about it. They helped a lot," he recalled.
"He had the feeding tube, the 'peg' in his stomach and we both cried," said Knowles' mother Tanya Knowles.
"I said you have two choices," she explained, remembering a difficult conversation with her son about the amount of physical and other therapies that would be required to help him more fully recover.
"Within four days, he was standing up with a walker support," she said.
Tanya Knowles credits staff at Maine Medical Center and Franciscan Children’s for getting Nick to where he is today.
They, in turn, credit him for listening to them and following through with a range of therapies and exercises from one-mile practice walks, to stepping up and down hills, to walking up and down stairs.
"He was always very persistent with all of those things we were asking him to do," said Ellen Hull, inpatient team leader for speech therapy services at Franciscan Children’s.
Upon returning home Nick said he was very happy to see Lucy, a family dog.