FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --This New Year's Eve is a new beginning for a father of three who lost a leg in a crash.
For the past five and a half months Jason Collins has been focused on two things getting back on his feet and getting back to work. "Since the day I woke up, the fire was in me to go back to work."
It was July 18th and he was in the hospital-- broken, confused, and his left leg was missing. At the time, he didn't know why and his family had to fill in the blanks. Collins was hit by a driver who ran a stop light while he was on his motorcycle riding to his new job. "I told my wife I need to call my work, she's like, 'I already talked with them.'"
He still has a job waiting for him-- the same one he did before the crash, a machine mechanic. He just needs to be able to walk and stand on two feet but his insurance refused to help. So two men, Paul Gieger and Donnie Priest, stepped in with a generous donation. "I'm not in it for the money, I'm in it for days like today," said Priest.
A day like today-- New Year's Eve. The day Collins got out of his wheelchair and stood up for the first time, on a prosthetic leg. "I knew one day, this day would come."
It's a donation worth thousands but you can't really put a price on happiness or a gift from the heart from someone who knows what it's like to be in Collins' shoes. Donnie lost both legs below the knee and it's the reason he's in the business of giving people the chance to walk again. "It means I did a good job, it means my life has meaning, it means that you're giving back and paying it forward in society," Priest said.
To Collins, It's a new lease on life, a second chance. "My life is coming back."
A big step on a long road to recovery. "It's the last step that I needed to regain my life-- regain my family's life."