Injured Hemet teen thanks doctors who helped him after he was hit by a truck
By Craig Shultz
Faces beamed as Nick Tusant got out of his wheelchair and walked about 10 yards across the Riverside Convention Center on Monday, Nov. 20.
The Hemet teen, who was severely injured and almost died in March after he was struck by a truck while walking to school, was at the center to greet doctors and volunteers who helped him. They were setting up for the Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for pediatric programs at Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley.
Doctors are amazed at Tusant’s recovery.
“It’s really phenomenal,” Dr. Alexandra Clark said. “It’s not something you can put in words. We didn’t think he’d make it.”
Clark, now the division chief for general pediatrics at Loma Linda University Medical Center and the chief of pediatrics at Riverside University Health System when Tusant was injured, said stories like his is why physicians work so hard — and why supporting events such as the Festival of Trees are important.
“To see children like Nick make such progress is heartwarming,” she said.
Tusant, now 17, was a junior at West Valley High School in Hemet and was walking to school March 24 when he was struck by a pickup while crossing the street just steps from the campus. Suffering a brain and other injuries, he was in a coma until April 16 and spent time at the county-run hospital and Totally Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Loma Linda before returning home in early September.
He has recovered enough to be schooled at home two days a week, with the goal of returning to campus full time for the second semester in January — and walking at the graduation ceremony in May.
“His therapy is going great,” his father Richard Tusant said Monday. “Everything is coming back fast. He’s working hard every day.”
His mother Jessica Tusant said […]