AVON LAKE, Ohio - A 9-year-old Avon Lake boy, who struck by a car last November, finally got to meet and thank his heroes Wednesday.
Avon Lake first responders weren't sure they would ever get to see 9-year-old Noah Venesile up and walking again, but it was a happy reunion for both at the fire house.
"You guys are so special," Noah told Avon Lake Fire Department and Metro Life Flight members as he gave each one a hug.
"I do believe that because of the response that he got, the care that he got, that he's able to come as far as he has… We thank them," said Noah's mother Amy Venesile.
Firefighters and paramedics welcomed Noah and his mother to their station on Walker Road. But they weren't the only ones there.
"It was pretty awesome," said Noah after watching the Metro Life Flight helicopter land at the fire house just for him. Dressed in a pilot's helmet and jacket, Noah gave a huge smile and a wave from the chopper's cockpit.
After two months of recovering at MetroHealth Medical Center, Noah is now home and continues rehabilitation at an outpatient facility.
"He's having a nice time and this is the good part of what happened to him, is being able to share this with him because he's come so far that he's able to do this. It's great," Amy Venesile said.
Firefighter Gary Madej said he held Noah's head that Nov. 6 in the rush to the chopper.
"To see him now, walking up and smiling and being able to talk to us, it really does our hearts good here… It's part of the reason why we take the job that we take here," Madej said.
Noah, who is still improving in his cognitive abilities, said a little slowly, but wholeheartedly, "I have to say thank you to them, to almost everybody because they were all a big help."
In addition to suffering traumatic brain injury, Noah also broke the orbital above his left eye and his right leg. His mother also said he's having trouble with his short term memory, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the smile on his face Wednesday.
"Good thing is he's got a great family support system and we want to let him know he has a family support system here as well," Madej said.