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‘It still is surreal’; St. Louis man shares his journey after losing both feet in hit-and-run in Chicago

By Gabriela Vidal

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    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — It’s been over a month since a St. Louis man lost both of his feet after a tragic hit-and-run crash on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

“It still is surreal to look down and see that you don’t have feet when like 33 days ago I had toes, and now I don’t. I don’t know if you get used to that,” said Bryce Summary.

Summary spoke with News 4 this week for the first time since he traveled to Chicago for a work convention. It is a trip that has changed his life forever.

“Next thing you know, I turn around and there’s a vehicle coming at me,” said Summary. “And then the next thing I remember is just waking up in the hospital. It was that fast my life changed.”

His daily life, which was once filled with running around in his home or helping coach his son’s sports teams, has transitioned to daily rehab visits. The double-amputee has also spent every day since his accident in Chicago hospitals.

“[I’m] learning how to do day-to-day functions without my feet. How do I get dressed? How do I use the bathroom? How do I take a shower,” said Summary. “What do I do if I fall down, how do I get up.”

As devastating as it was to lose both of his feet in the hit-and-run accident, Summary chooses to embrace his new normal.

“I just came to the conclusion I’ve got to move forward. This is the right choice for me. There’s nothing I can do about it,” he said. “I can cry about, ‘Oh woe is me, this shouldn’t have happened to me’.”

Summary added, “It’s been nice to see other people that are in my similar circumstance that have amputations that are dealing with it as well. [It] makes me feel like I’m not alone. So, in that way, it’s been nice.”

He has also taken every moment possible to embrace his two boys since the accident.

“My kids, they’re great. They have lots of questions. ‘Daddy, what happened to your legs? Daddy, how are you? Daddy you’re going to have robot legs’,” said Summary. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to have robot legs. I’m going to be just as good as I was before’.”

He says the toughest thing has not been being relocated to Chicago temporarily, but rather the impact it continues to have on being able to see his children as often as he likes.

“Just not being able to hug my children like I want to,” said Summary. “I don’t want them to be scared. I don’t want them to be shy about it. I’m open about it with my children.”

More than a month since the accident, no one has been held responsible for the crash.

“The police have an idea. They think they know who the driver of the car [was], but we haven’t heard anything else in regards to if they’ve caught him or anything like that,” said Amy Summary, Bryce’s wife.

Yet, Summary says having those answers is not what matters most to him.

“I’m not wasting any energy worrying about this person. I’m letting the authorities take care of that,” said Summary. “I’m just trying to stay positive. I’m thinking about my recovery and focused on that right now.”

He says his long road to recovery has been a positive one thanks to the kindness of St. Louis residents.

“I mean literally people showing up at my front door, through our ring doorbell offering to build a ramp for me,” said Summary. “Ordinary St. Louisans, just showing up, writing me letters and wishing me well. It makes me feel really good.”

Summary says he hopes to be back in the St. Louis metro in the next two to four weeks where he will rest before going back to Chicago to get fitted for prosthetics. Then, he will undergo more physical therapy and rehab to learn how to use them.

A GoFundMe supporting Summary and his family has already raised more than $30,000.

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