ROGERS PARK — Michael Davis, who was brutally beaten outside his apartment after breaking up a fight at a Rogers Park pub in June, has returned home "by the grace of God," he said from his Rogers Park apartment Thursday.
Davis said he's spent the last two months in and out of physical therapy sessions and doctor visits, working to regain control of his right hand, which he still struggles to move.
Doctors say a nerve in his hand was damaged during the June 17 assault that left him in the intensive care unit. The 44-year-old also suffered a broken jaw, partial paralysis on his right side and swelling of his brain.
But now he's back at home, hanging out with friends and trying to make a full recovery.
"It’s really amazing," said Matt Nolan, Davis' friend and neighbor, of his progress. "It’s not just physically, but mentally. From the outside looking in, he seems to be doing fantastic."
Nolan said he and Davis spend some Sundays watching Bears games. They play in the same fantasy football league.
And just like before the attack, he said, his dog "goes crazy" when Davis walks into his apartment.
Although Davis, a former restaurant server, hasn't made any public appearances since coming home, he hopes to get back out within a couple of months to thank everyone who donated money to help pay for his health care.
"I want to thank the people who supported me," he said. "I love everybody out there."
Alicia Webb said the donations have helped her uncle's recovery "tremendously."
Without them, she said, "He probably wouldn't have made the progress that he has."
The family also continues to follow the criminal court case against Davis' suspected attackers — Anthony Rudon, 50, and Tremaine Gallimore, 21, of the 7600 block of North Sheridan Road — who pleaded not guilty to the crime on Sept. 26.
Prosecutors allege the two men ambushed Davis with a baseball bat and steel pipe outside his apartment after a scuffle at neighborhood pub Poitin Stil about a block away.
Rudon and Gallimore were arrested and charged on Aug. 20.
But Davis had a simple message for family, friends and supporters: "Send everyone my blessings and my love — and I'll see everyone soon."
Contributing: Erin Meyer