Then out of nowhere, a white Chevrolet van hit them at 75mph, an absurd speed for the neighbourhood. Marcy was killed outright and Lewis was so thoroughly broken that the paramedic on the scene took him for dead. The Chevrolet driver, meanwhile, fled the scene, and was never caught. That was the story the Times ran with – the destructive experience of a hit-and-run in a city where everyone drives everywhere.
Twenty years on, that crash continues to reverberate. Only this time, it’s a happier story, one that Lewis has told in a book, Rise and Shine, and before large audiences at numerous public events. It’s the story of his astonishing recovery, and it not only gives hope to sufferers of traumatic brain injury (TBI), but provides proof, in the most dramatic fashion, of the brain’s incredible ability to regenerate and reorganise itself.