MADISON COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – Five years ago, a New Zealand runner was jogging across America when he was struck by a hit and run driver in Madison County.
On Monday, Nick Ashill resumed that run from the very spot it stopped.
After he was hit by a pickup truck on Route 40 and left for dead, Ashill was taken to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, which became his home for months as he recovered.
Five years ago, Ashill was on the phone with his wife when he was hit by a dark pickup truck, his right leg and pelvis smashed, with Ashill ending up landing in a ditch.
Doctors told Ashill he may never run again, but he was determined to not only get back into shape but to get back on the road and finish what he started.
“Sixteen surgeries later, I’m back here in 2022 finishing off the last thousand kilometers,” he said. “It was to honor my mom who died from a horrible disease of the lungs called pulmonary fibrosis.”
Ashill credits the team at Wexner Medical Center for getting him back into running shape. Some of his surgeons and physical therapists met him Monday morning as he made a pit stop after resuming his run across America.
“It was just so cool to see him back in his strong running ability, in running gear, in his own element, doing his thing,” said Kat Sauersmith, an occupational therapist at Wexner. “So yeah, teared up a couple times in this run, just being able to join him, and I feel truly humbled being part of his recovery.”
Before resuming his run, Ashill took a few quiet moments at that spot on Route 40.
“I went out to the site last night and just had a few words and that was really nice,” he said. “It was a very peaceful time. I went out there with my support crew.”
Ashill will finish running through Ohio, head into Pennsylvania, and ultimately finish at Coney Island, New York.
For more on Ashill’s run, click here.