Monday, January 21 2013 9:41 PM EST2013-01-22 02:41:26 GMT
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) – When 26-year old Nick Collins woke from his coma, he had trouble wrapping his head around the news doctors gave. "I was told before hand that it was going to be a challengeMore >>
In December, Collins set a goal to be home by his birthday, Feb. 9. Nick beat his goal by two-and-a-half weeks. Throughout his journey, Collins says the community hasn't left his side. More >>
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Nearly five months ago, doctors did not think 26-year-old Nick Collins would survive his injuries after being thrown from a car and run over by an 18-wheeler.
"The first two three months were tough. There was a lot of pain and a lot of surgeries," said Collins. "I shouldn't have survived this car wreck at all. I had less than a one percent chance of surviving when they brought me in."
Initially, doctors said Collins showed no sign of brain function.
"I knew it was going to be hard… but, it's so much harder than I thought it'd be," Collins said.
For the first 6 weeks, Collins was in a medically-induced coma.
"They explained to me that I was in a car wreck and it was two months ago; that was really scary," he said.
Collins had to undergo a host of surgeries and had his left leg amputated. Collins said he also struggled with memory loss.
"I couldn't imagine being a father and having to tell my child three different times he didn't have a leg and seeing that he didn't remember it, and having to go through the whole struggle all over again," he said.
Since then, Collins said his recovery has made a drastic change.
"The last month has been a really big turn around," Collins said. "I've had a lot more mobility too. I'm up and getting in the wheelchair and walking doing more physical therapy."
Collins said he had his last surgery two weeks ago and no longer has to take pain medication throughout the day.
Collins said he's learning more and more each day how to live with just one leg.
"Everything you do is just a little different. When I'm walking I basically have to use my arms as my missing leg," he said.
Collins said his recovery has been easier thanks to help he is getting from the community, his family and friends.
"It was so overwhelming in the beginning to have so much support from everyone around town. And, I thought it might end, you know? Kind of fade off," Collins said. "But, here we are 5 months later and it's as strong as ever," he said.
Collins said he will go through extensive physical therapy. He also plans to get a prosthetic leg and hopes to be home by February.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>