Ball State senior talks about road to recovery after surviving spring break hit and run


FISHERS, Ind. (WTHR) - He was supposed to be having the time of his life on spring break. Instead, a Ball State student found himself fighting for his life, hundreds of miles away from his family.

"I was blessed. I got lucky. I had the man upstairs looking out for me," said Drew Akers, 21, sitting in his family home in Fishers.

It might be hard to believe at first, but the same young man talking and laughing with his family today was, just four months ago, lying in a medically-induced coma in a Florida hospital.

"Seeing him the way he is today, getting back to the Drew we know is nothing but a miracle," said dad Bill Akers.

He may be right when you consider all his son has been through since March, when someone hit him while he was on spring break in Fort Lauderdale.

The driver never stopped and police have never found the driver responsible. Drew was left in the street, critically injured.

The soon-to-be senior at Ball State doesn't remember a thing.

"I don't and I don't want to," said Drew.

His parents, on the other hand, remember every moment, starting with a late-night phone call and a stranger's voice delivering terrible news.

"Your son has been hit by a car while walking to an Uber and he's in a medically-induced coma," Diane Akers recalled. "I was just in shock. I couldn't even speak."

For the parents, the 17 days that followed were the hardest of their lives. They watched their oldest child fight for his life, hooked up to tubes with a traumatic brain injury.

"He was sleeping while we went through it," said Diane.

"We didn't know if he was going to survive or not," Bill said of the excruciating wait.

"I remember my mom saying at one point, 'You got hit by a car' but that's it," Drew said.

"March 22nd, 17 days later, I remember them telling me, 'You're good to go. We're getting ready to have an ambulance here and take you to the in-patient rehab,'" Drew said.

During his 11-day rehab in a Florida hospital, Drew learned to walk again.

At one point, he got to meet the paramedic who was on the scene the night he was hit and saved his life.

"She's actually the one who found my pulse," said Drew. "I really owe my life to her, honestly, because who knows what would have happened if she hadn't been there."

The road to healing brought Drew back home in early April where he's done hundreds of hours of outpatient therapy.

"I feel almost at 100 percent," said Drew, who walks without any difficulty and has been cleared to drive.

His progress has been so remarkable, Drew's even been able to do a summer marketing internship and will head back to Ball State in the fall.

"Things happen for a reason. God's got a plan," said Drew. "I'm here. I'm alive."

It's more than that though. For Drew, every breath is a blessing.

"This whole thing made me realize how many good people there are in this world and all the love and support I have," said Drew.