Good Samaritan musician to play again

March 3, 2011 3:59:38 PM PST
A local musician injured while coming to a woman's rescue will soon be returning to the stage.

Matthew Leone is now well enough to play again with his band, Madina Lake, which is scheduled to perform in Chicago April 23.

The bassist was hospitalized with severe brain trauma in June. The musician was leaving his identical twin brother's Chicago apartment when Leone heard a woman screaming that someone was trying to kill her. He immediately ran to her aid.

"She was laying on the back and had blood on her face. I knew it was serious so I got involved," said Leone.

He says the woman's husband was choking her. Leone pulled him off and called 911. He thought he had the situation under control until the man turned on Leone, beating the musician in the head.

"As I was unconscious on the street, he continued to bash me in the head with anything and everything,'" said Leone.

Justin Pivic, 33, was charged with the attack on Leone and his wife. However, Mrs. Pivic dropped the charges against her husband and to this day she has never thanked Leone for saving her life. Despite that, Leone has no regrets helping her.

"I would do it again, you know, in a heartbeat," said Leone.

He credits his own determination and his family and friends for beating the odds. And Leone says he could never leave this world without twin brother Nathan.

"Nathan and I lost our mother when we were 12, and there was a 15 percent chance that she was going to live when we were on the way to the hospital and we lost that one, you know, so this one was, like, no, can't do it. We won this one, you know, so it's a pretty good feeling," said Leone.

Even with daily rehab, Leone suffers from vertigo, dizziness, some memory loss and a lot of pain in his brain. But he says that is not going to stop him from getting back to his passion, music.

For the first time this week, the 29-year-old was able to stand while playing his bass guitar.

Leone was given a 7 percent chance to live after the attack. On Thursday, he was back rehearsing.

"When I come and play that's when I feel the best. I honestly think this is one of the better forms of therapy for me," he told ABC7.

Leone says he is now adapting to a new reality. The former college soccer star says the hardest thing about his injury is not being able to be physical on the soccer field and on stage.

Leone admits he is nervous to perform in front of an audience. He will get that chance when his band goes tour the beginning of April in Japan.