Doug David, the San Diegan paralyzed in a New Orleans road-rage attack, returned to California a little after noon Friday, accompanied by his niece from Rancho Cucamonga.
Stephen Simpson, David’s longtime friend, told Times of San Diego that David startled a trauma doctor at University Medical Center where he had been treated since the Oct. 15 attack near the French Quarter.
David was able to wiggle a toe on one foot.
The doctor said: “Wow, that’s huge,” Simpson said Friday from a Dallas airport on the way home Friday night to San Diego.
Simpson says David, his old high school classmate, has the worst kind of paralysis, but may see more improvement as spinal swelling goes down over the next two months.
Niece Alicia Foulds accompanied David on the flight to Ontario International Airport and its Guardian Air jet center. The chartered medical flight cost as much as $30,000, but donors have raised $25,000 so far through a crowd-funding effort.
David will stay at Kindred Hospital Rancho near his niece and sister in Rancho Cucamonga, Simpson said. It’s an extended-stay rehabilitation center.
Christopher S. Smith, suspected of being David’s attacker, remains at large.
A fundraiser is planned Monday in San Diego to help with expenses for David, a well-known jazz and swing music lover. Humphreys Backstage Lounge will have bands perform from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Shelter Island venue.