A man who was left critically injured after being struck by a car returned to St. John's this weekend to a crowd of cheering family and friends.
Anthony Maher, 23, is a student at McGill University in Montreal. He said he was walking home from a study meeting in November when the accident happened.
"I was walking across an intersection, and someone was speeding through the lights and hit me," Maher said.
Right after the accident, there was speculation as to whether he would ever be able to walk again, if he survived.
He said his family rushed to Montreal to be with him when they learned about the accident.
"I was in critical care for about three weeks, and in that time period it was about seven surgeries I had," he said.
Anthony was in the hospital from November until his recent release.
"It's been four, four and a half months of intense rehabilitation since then," he said.
Hard on family
The situation put a strain on his family and friends, as well.
Sarah Maher, Anthony's sister, said having him home means a lot to her.
"It means getting back to a normal life, and it means peace of mind, satisfaction, just overall happiness," she said.
"To have your family taken away from you on such a tragedy is — I just can't describe how awful it is, but we'll all sleep well tonight, so it's a happy day."
Their mother Georgina said they weren't sure they were going to make it home this weekend.
"We didn't think we were going to be able to get home for Easter, but it works out," she said. "We got things in order in time, you know, all the paper work, and it worked out good so we're thrilled."
Noreen Yetman, holding a sign to greet Maher on Saturday, said she's just excited that he's home.
"It's very emotional. We've been through a lot — a lot of prayer — and you know a lot of thoughts going his way," she said.
"Just to know that he's coming home, just to know that he's going to walk and come down those stairs, it's not what we expected back in November."
Maher said it was a difficult few months of recovery as he anxiously awaited the day he could return home.
"It was hard to see it coming, that's the honest truth. I'm just so happy that it's here, and I feel like I can just restart now and get stronger," he said.
"I know I have so much support around me, so that's really encouraging."
Sarah said she saw her brother not long ago, but the improvements since then are noticeable.
"I haven't seen him now since January, so even from then until now, there's such a huge improvement," she said.
"When I saw him last, he was in a wheelchair, not able to walk, no mobility, and now he's walking here today."
Anthony Maher said he is just grateful for the help he received.
"Just, a huge thank you. I do know that there were fundraisers on my behalf while I was in Montreal, and I just wanted to extend a sincere thank you to everybody who contributed and sent well-wishes in whatever way," he said.
He plans to continue physiotherapy through the summer and return to McGill for the fall semester.