CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago man who broke his neck in an accident in 2009 has begun standing upright, and walking for the first time in years.

Ronnell Booze spent years bent over at a 90-degree angle, in severe pain, unable to make eye contact. He had to identify people by their shoes.

“I was on OxyContin, Norco, methadone, morphine,” Booze said.

He said he had pretty much given up on life, after undergoing multiple surgeries.

“I couldn’t see myself continuing on,” he said.

Booze was later referred to Dr. Richard Lim, an orthopedic surgeon at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a case as challenging and as difficult,” Lim said.

After breaking his neck in 2009, Ronnell Booze's posture was literally bent at a 90-degree angle, but a complicated spine surgery in 2015 allowed him to resume walking upright. (Credit: Advocate Christ Medical Center)

After breaking his neck in 2009, Ronnell Booze’s posture was literally bent at a 90-degree angle, but a complicated spine surgery in 2015 allowed him to resume walking upright. (Credit: Advocate Christ Medical Center)

Lim performed a two-part surgery, and discussed the procedures in a YouTube video posted by Christ Medical Center.

“Mr. Booze’s surgery was very, very complicated. It was basically two individual procedures. Incisions in his back; screws into his spine; we use a saw, and drill, and basically break his back; incision on the side of his stomach; took out bones; put in a titanium strut; took out discs in the front; connected rods to the screws that we had placed previously in his back, and then added bone to get everything to heal,” Lim said.

He said the surgery was complicated, but fun.

As for Booze, he said he feels fantastic six months after the procedure. He said he’s walking upright, and the numerous painkillers are gone.