OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - On this Thanksgiving, a Perkinston man is giving thanks for a very special gift -- the gift of life. Back in September, Bruce Richard was mowing the grass for the Ocean Springs Public Works Department when he was struck by a car. Richard was released from the hospital last week. On Wednesday, he talked about his experience for the very first time.
Getting around is a lot harder these days for Bruce Richard. But the 52-year old man is just grateful to finally be out of the hospital.
"Two months and four days," said Richard.
Richard's boss at the Ocean Springs Public Works Department calls his survival a miracle.
"It wasn't that long ago we were planning to bury you. That's on everybody's mind that Bruce would never come back," Ocean Springs Public Works Director Andre Kaufman told Richard.
Richard's road to recovery has been long and rough. On September 15th, he was operating a mowing tractor along Bienville Boulevard when he was struck by a car. Witnesses said Richard was thrown onto the windshield of the car. But, he doesn't remember anything about the accident.
"Never see no cars. I just woke up three or four weeks later, wondering where I was at," said Richard.
Richard suffered five broken bones in his left leg, a fractured right foot, and a fractured skull. For weeks, he relied on breathing and feeding tubes.
"Everybody was saying they didn't expect me to live. A lot of damage was done to me and I've seen some pictures and all," said Richard.
What Richard will never forget is the support from this co-workers. They held a fish fry and collected donations to help with his expenses.
"I'm thankful for the donations and stuff and the prayers and all that. It helps. It makes you feel good. Someone actually cares, praying for you and all. Obviously the prayers came true, because here I am sitting here," said Richard.
Richard now has a rod in his left leg, and he will be in a wheelchair for awhile. He is looking forward to returning to work and getting back on that bush hog.
"I'm thankful to be alive, like I ain't got brain damage and stuff, like I got a second chance," he said.
Richard starts physical therapy on Monday. He hopes to start walking again in three to four months.
Police say the driver of the vehicle that hit him was cited for driving without insurance.