The last time Jenny Hsieh saw Eff, the 28-year-old was lying face down in the middle of Michigan Avenue at Pearson Avenue just a week before Christmas. Eff had been struck by a car and the driver took off. She suffered two broken legs, a shattered elbow and fractures to her shoulder and two vertebrae.
Hsieh, 23, a respiratory therapist, rushed to her side.
"It's nice to put a face to a name and get to thank you on a personal basis. I do appreciate everything you did," Eff said. "I will never be able to tell you how grateful I am."
Hsieh said her medical training kicked in that night. She said, "[I] called 9-1-1 right away, told them the situation. Ran over just to check she was breathing, checked to see that she had a pulse. Checked her carotid. She had a pulse."
Hsieh stayed with Eff until the paramedics arrived and kept the injured woman from moving to avoid further spinal injury.
"It is great to meet somebody who, in the long run, has such a positive outcome on my life. There were several people in cars that drove by and she's someone different," Eff said.
"To me, it was like doing my job; I just wasn't in scrubs," Hsieh said.
"Unfortunately that night I saw two different worlds: someone who obviously didn't have the heart she did - and then [Hsieh]," Eff said of the hit-and-run driver.
Eff has a tough recovery ahead of her. She walks slowly with metal rods in her legs. Her left arm barely moves from 90-degrees. She starts physical therapy on Friday.
Eff and Hsieh say they'll stay in touch.
Chicago police are still looking for the driver who struck Eff. They believe the car was a silver or gray sedan, possibly a Pontiac.