TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Balloons adorn the rehab center room of Brandon Ensign, where he lays in bed. The 28-year-old cyclist is recovering from a brain injury, a broken pelvis, several severe cuts, and broken eye sockets after being hit by a driver and left-for-dead.
Thursday morning, March 2, he was thanking his lucky stars.
"Knowing all that's happened since then, I'm doing pretty well considering," he said.
Considering that more than a week earlier, Ensign was clinging to life near a medical center driveway near East Fifth Street and North Wilmot Road on Tucson's east side. His busted bicycle was his mode of transportation to and from work and school, and now it's a piece of evidence.
"I don't remember any of that," Ensign said, talking about how he only recalls waking up in a hospital bed the next day. "I knew that something serious was going on because everybody was here and showing me serious support."
The cyclist said he had no memory of the Feb. 21 crash, in which a driver hit him and took off around 5:30 a.m. According to the Tucson Police Department report, "there were plastic pieces in the roadway that appeared to be part of the fender from a white vehicle." Sgt. Pete Dugan said he could not confirm whether that evidence was tied to this crash, or from an earlier incident.
Ensign said he had no memory of being rushed to the trauma unit at Banner-University Medical Center. He said he only recalls waking up the next day in a hospital bed.
His friend and classmate, Stephen Huffman, said it was "heartbreaking" to hear the news. Ensign is a student at the Art Institute of Tucson, and was set to graduate in March. He also was starting a new job, and was on his way to work in the early morning when the crash happened. Those close to Ensign said both are put on hold while he recovers.
It's a recovery that has gone incredibly fast, according to Huffman.
"It's only been a week. How amazing is that?" Huffman said excitedly. "Now he looks normal. It looks just like movie makeup now in comparison to what it was last week (when his head was swollen.) God answers, man. The universe does provide."
Ensign has been participating in daily physical therapy and speech therapy.
"I put a lot of time into it every day, just so I can get back to the level that I was before the crash," he said.
Brendan Lyons with LOOK! Save A Life said Ensign is "blessed to be alive" and said the driver needs to come forward and be accountable for what happened.
Police said they're still looking for the driver responsible, and said there are no specific leads at this time in their investigation. They said a passerby called 911 to alert them to the crash.
Family and friends have set up a Go Fund Me account to help in Brandon's recovery. He only hopes to find out the answer to the one question he had for the driver responsible.
"Why did you feel like you had to leave right away after that? Because that could have been the end of my life."