A Toronto teacher is still coping with the devastating changes to his lifestyle since he was struck by a minivan after trying to confront vandals who egged his home, while also waiting for police to find those responsible for his injuries.
Michael Stewart went outside his home with a baseball bat to confront whoever egged his Etobicoke home in the early hours of March 14.
Moments later, he was struck by a minivan, which fled the scene.
The incident left the 39-year-old Stewart with injuries that police initially described as “life-altering,” ones that the high school physical education teacher concurs have seriously changed his life.
“The hardest part for me is remembering what I was able to do,” Stewart told CBC News.
“My whole life, I was an athlete. I was able to do whatever I wanted to do with my body.”
Step by step
Stewart went from living an active lifestyle to spending five days a week in a rehabilitation centre.
“I instructed martial arts, I was able to do stuff with my body. I’ve lifted weights, played sports, coached and all of a sudden, I can’t move my right toe. I look at it and it doesn’t move,” he said.
Stewart spent weeks in hospital and has had surgery twice.
The first time he stood on his own was a welcome moment, Stewart said, even though it lasted only a few seconds.
“Let me tell you after being on your back for seven weeks, it was one of the better moments of my life,” he said.
Nearly three months after being struck, he can now stand up and take a few steps.
No arrest made
Stewart hopes to return to teaching at Scarborough’s Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute in the fall.
Toronto police have still not made an arrest in the case.
After the incident, Stewart's wife appealed for the driver of the minivan to come forward and accept responsibility for what happened.
Stewart suspects that the van is owned by the parents of whoever was involved in the incident, and they are likely complicit in keeping the vehicle out of sight.
“If the parents are hiding the van — and I truly believe the parents are hiding the van — there’s nothing [the police] can do, unless somebody eventually comes out and confesses,” he said.