They survived the crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport, but for some, recovering from the injuries they suffered in the crash has become a long and painful process.
One survivor who is not able to return home to China because of his cracked jaw and other injuries is taking legal action against Asiana Airlines.
Henry Xie, 60, walked out of the wreckage, but says he can't escape pain from a back injury and nightmares about the crash.
He says he wonders if his life will ever be the same. “I was seated with seatbelt, but maybe not tight enough because the impact was very strong,” he said.
Xie says he remembers slamming to the tarmac when Asiana Flight 214 crashed on July 6. But he's not sure how he ended up with a cracked jaw, a strained neck and shattered vertebrae in his spine.
Xie has spent a restless and painful month recovering in a South San Francisco hotel. He says sleeping has become a problem due to the pain – and the nightmares.
He says he can't return home to Shanghai, China, and his job as a university professor until his back heals, because right now he can’t sit through the 11-hour flight.
“The bone is broken. For my age I don't know there will be... Can I heal or not? I don't know,” Xie said.
Xie and his wife filed a lawsuit against Asiana Airlines in federal court in San Francisco, accusing Asiana of gross negligence. The couple is seeking at least $5 million.
Xie is able to file suit in the U.S. because his son bought his ticket in the States. His attorney says hundreds of other foreign nationals on board are only able to file suit in Korea or China.
Xie's lawyer, Mike Verna, said he wants to expose the truth about why Asiana Flight 214 crashed and he wants Xie to be compensated for his pain and suffering.
Xie said what he really wants is his life back. “For me, if I can get health, I don't want $5 million at all. I just want health,” Xie said.
Xie says his doctor at Stanford University told him he may not be able to return home to Shanghai China until October.
NBC Bay Area contacted attorneys who represent the airlines tonight for reaction to the lawsuit and have not yet heard back.