Special Assignment: Injured Runner's Story of Survival
local runner survives awful car crash Video by tmj4.comvideo
PEWAUKEE - He was out for a jog, when he was almost killed. Greg Phelps got hit from behind by a car. Doctors didn't know if he would survive. Now in this TODAY'S TMJ4 exclusive Greg shares his amazing story and talks about his second chance at life.
Greg Phelps is not only walking and talking but is now back to working out. "I broke my shoulder blade and you know the ribs and just trying to lift. It's just kind of slowly but surely," he told us.
It's a recovery not many imagined possible. Something Greg knows all too well. "You're always living with what happened, and the physical scars are always going to be there but I know I'm very lucky."
Lucky to have lived. "I was about two miles into a six mile run," Greg remembers. He was on his daily jog back in November when he was hit by a car going 30 miles an hour. Thomas Brinkman was behind the wheel and reportedly high on heroin.
"The guy looks stoned. His eyes are closed right now," Tiffany Fisher told a dispatcher. She and her husband called 911 after spotting Brinkman driving erratically on the interstate. They followed him onto Capitol Drive in Pewaukee.
"He's gonna hit a guy, he's gonna hit a guy. He hit him! Oh my God, he just hit a man!"
Greg was on the sidewalk when the car plowed into him from behind. Fisher described the scene to the dispatcher, "Oh my God, he's bleeding from his head...tell them to hurry. I don't think this guy's going to make it. It doesn't look good."
"The first thing I remember was waking up several days later at Froedtert Hospital," Greg said. He had broken bones, a lacerated liver and bleeding on the brain. "Even when I've tried, I can't go back to that minute of that day to remember getting hit."
Surgeons removed half the skull bone on the left side of Greg's head leaving his brain room to swell. "My brain was basically exposed without a bone on top of it for several months." Surgeons then replaced the bone in February. Now Greg feels like himself again, just with a few more scars. "I call them war wounds."
When it comes to Thomas Brinkman, Greg isn't ready to forgive him, just yet. For now, he's focused on living. "I'm fortunate to recover the way I have so I appreciate life, I appreciate my family my friends. Everything that I enjoy around me I appreciate it even more."
Greg is back at work and just started running again. He's taking it slow on a treadmill, for now, but plans to compete in a half marathon and triathlon this summer.
Tiffany Fisher and her husband are holding a fundraiser in Greg's name. Money raised will go to the Brain Injury Rehab Unit at Froedtert Hospital.
Here are the details:
Saturday, March 26th
1 - 4 p.m.
Board Break-A-Thon and Bake Sale
World Martial Arts Academy
14200 W. National Avenue
For more details on the event, call 262-784-5425.