From coma to come-back, a return to run

By Jillian Marshall

May 6, 2013 Updated May 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Bryan Steinhauer remembers almost everything about 2008 -- but for the minutes he was beaten unconscious outside a local bar, and the nearly three months he subsequently spent locked in a coma.

Five years later, he'll stare at the starting line of Sunday's half marathon in the city where he nearly lost his life fully cognizant of what recovery takes.

On Saturday, Steinhauer, 26, of Brooklyn, met and thanked the members of the Intensive Care Unit at UHS Wilson Hospital in Johnson City.

Steinhauer was brutally beaten at the Rathskellar bar by former BU basketball player Miladin Kovacevic.

He suffered skull fractures and a severe brain injury from the bar brawl.

It's strange thanking people he doesn't really remember. But he is hoping to inspire them.

"It feels a little eerie that I don't remember them personally, but I am appreciative of all of them. It means so much to me to have people who care about me be so happy to see me. I want to inspire them most of all, tell them that they've done a great job and to keep it up," Steinhauer said.

Steinhauer is running the half marathon portion of Sunday's Bridge Run, raising money for a charity he created, Mind Over Matter.

Mind Over Matter benefits young adults with brain injuries.

"To be able to see somebody that you directly took care of, that was very, very, very, sick, to be able to come back a number of years later and be able to walk, talk, joke, run a half marathon, it's very, very rewarding. As an ICU nurse, you don't really see that that often," said Matthew Smith, nurse manager for the ICU at Wilson.

Steinhauer is also running in the New York City marathon, his first full marathon, in November.