Israeli tourist fighting for his life after crash leaves him in coma

Man was initially reported missing after he failed to return from trip to mall

By Sanela Sabovic - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A 22-year-old Israeli tourist is fighting for his life after he was struck by a car last week.

Nir Duannee is currently in the intensive care unit on life support at Broward Health Medical Center. 

“When he arrived here he was in a trauma state. His skull is fractured. He’s gone through two brain surgeries,” Meir Duannee said.

Meir Duannee said his 22-year-old brother had been staying with him for the past two weeks. Nir Duannee took an Uber from the family home in Lauderhill Wednesday to go shopping at the Sawgrass Mills Mall. When he never came home that night, the family started to panic.

“He’s not picking up his phone. He left all his money. He left all his clothing, his passport, everything. It’s not like him. He’s a tourist here,” Meir Duannee said.

Two days passed without any sign of Nir Duannee. On Friday, a nurse at Broward Health made the connection after seeing a story about Nir Duannee’s disappearance on Local 10 News.

Gina Carter, a spokeswoman for the Broward County Sheriff's Office, said Nir Duannee was struck by a car around 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 2700 block of West Oakland Park Boulevard. Carter said Nir Duanee crossed the street outside of the crosswalk and the 55-year-old driver stayed on the scene.

Paramedics rushed Nir Duannee to the hospital in critical condition. Doctors aren’t optimistic that he will make a full recovery.  

“They are not being too positive. They are 99 percent sure that he is going to stay like this like a vegetable, in a coma for the rest of his life,” Meir Duannee said. “Of course, we believe differently. We believe that he will get out of this. We are praying for him.” 

The family hasn’t left Nir Duannee’s side. The family has set up a crowdfunding site to help pay for Nir Duannee's medical expenses.

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