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Hit-And-Run Victim Makes Strides, Forgives Driver Who Nearly Killed Him

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Mike Puccinelli Mike Puccinelli
Mike Puccinelli serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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(CBS) — A Chicago man is home after spending much of the last four months in three different hospitals.

It’s the aftermath of a horrific hit and run crash. CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli shows us his remarkable recovery.

They’re small steps but they signify huge progress for Salvatore Cavallaro.

That’s because four months ago the Chicago man was nearly killed when he was run down by a hit and run driver near the Brickyard Mall. Walking is just the latest basic life skill Sal has had to re-learn.

The 75-year-old was hospitalized for nearly three months. For about half of that time, he was unconscious.

Shirley Cavallaro is Sal’s wife of 47 years.  She says several times during her husband’s ordeal she feared he wouldn’t make it out of the hospital.

“We almost lost him. They had to shock him three times. That was the worst,” she says.

When Sal finally came to, he had no idea what happened, where he was or why his wife was at his side.

Shirley explained what happened and Sal says his memory was jogged a bit.

“I didn’t know nothing,” he says. “I was dreaming that I was dying.”

Now he faces up to two more months of therapy at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. But he’s not discouraged.

“It’s a miracle I’m alive,” Sal says.

And he’s not bitter. Asked what he would say to the person who hit him, he says: “You’re not going to believe me. I forgive him.”

Sal and his wife both hope the driver will do the right thing and surrender to police. At this point, police have no suspects from the May 22 crash, which happened in a mall parking lot.

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