Hit and run has 'made me want to become a better person,' victim says

When Navindra Sookramsingh held a news conference in April asking the driver who hit him to come forward, doctors couldn't say whether he would ever walk again. Four months of rehab and he's back on his feet, albeit a little slower.

"I'm grateful for that," said Sookramsingh, 21, as he spoke to CBC Toronto this week about his progress and the charity work he's undertaken since he was injured.

"My recovery has been quite rough, to be honest," he said.  

Back in March, Sookramsingh was out celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Brampton. On his way home, he felt ill and collapsed in the southbound lane of West Drive, south of Clark Boulevard, around 4:30 a.m. ET. That's when he was hit by a Toyota Corolla that left the scene. 

His left hip and a number of vertebrae and ribs were shattered. He sustained extensive internal damage to organs and tissue. He decided to speak at the news conference to say he forgave the driver and wanted the person to do the right thing by coming forward. 

'I can barely remember directions sometimes'

Now he wants to speak out again to highlight how far he's come and to also shine light on the trauma families and victims go through when a crash or collision occurs. 

"I've been set back at least five, six years in my career and my life," he said.

Navindra Sookramsingh

"My memory is bad. I can barely remember directions sometimes. I can't hear out of my left ear and I have chronic pain," Sookramsingh added. 

One thing that is keeping him going is working with the charity organization Mission 1 World. The non-profit group based in the GTA helps children and families all over the world by providing aid such as food, water or solar panels for electricity.   

"I'm grateful that I'm alive and I can still see my family … This experience has made me want to become a better person and make the world a better place," said Sookramsingh. 

He's currently working with the group on an upcoming fundraiser to help children in Pakistan get clean water and electricity. 

'A miracle to see him walking'

The group's director, Masood Wahab, says the whole team was compelled to reach out to Sookramsingh after watching the April news conference online.

"We've been in touch ever since," said Wahab, calling Sookramsingh's recovery "incredible."  

"It's pretty much a miracle to see him walking," he said. 

The event they're putting together is for September and Sookramsingh says it gives him something to look forward to since he's been on extended medical leave from work. 

Linda Ward/CBC

Two months before the accident, Sookramsingh says, he landed his dream job at Pearson International Airport as a fuel engineer. 

"I applied to that job a number of times … and I finally landed that much desired entry level job," said Sookramsingh. 

As for the investigation, Peel Regional Police haven't made much progress. They have limited information to go on, only that the car was a beige Toyota Corolla. But they're still urging members of the public to come forward with any tips they may have. 

Sookramsingh says he's not angry at the person who derailed his old life. 

"I'd tell them to be careful when they're on the road ... You don't know how an accident changes the life of the person and their family."