A former Kansas University cross country runner who nearly lost a leg in a traffic accident has returned to KU and is now walking to class.
Jeremy McClain, 19, Overland Park, returned to KU this semester after he was hit by a car Sept. 2 while running near 23rd and Louisiana.
His left leg was broken in several places and two of his front teeth were knocked out.
McClain, who spent about five weeks in the hospital last semester and underwent extensive therapy at home, said most of his injuries have healed.
"I'm real excited about being back," he said Tuesday. "I'm off crutches now, and I'm putting 100 percent of my weight on my leg."
McClain, a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, moved into the fraternity house a few days ago from his parents' home.
"After going through all the therapy at home, it's nice to be back in school," he said.
Doctors at KU Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., nearly had to amputate McClain's left foot or part of his lower leg after the accident. On Sept. 5, doctors hooked McClain to life-support machines after he developed adult respiratory distress syndrome, in which fat escaping from his broken bones pooled in his lungs.
McClain went home from KUMC on Sept. 25.
In November, he underwent an operation to replace a temporary rod in his left leg with a permanent rod.
The surgery went well and he's nearly recovered, he said.
McClain enrolled in 13 hours this semester.
He said he wanted to "get a little more serious" about the piano, which he's played since elementary school.
"I'm looking for some guys so we can form a band, maybe," he said.
McClain said he hasn't discussed the possibility of running again with his doctors.
However, he said he hoped to do some bicycling this spring.
"I want to make sure everything is completely healed before I even think about running again," he said. "I'd like to wait until at least a year from when the accident happened.
"I don't want to put any unnecessary strain on my leg."
McClain was issued a special parking permit that allows him to drive and park on campus for class.
"It's kind of nice, because I still have trouble getting up that hill," he said.