REDMOND, Wash. - In late March, Doug Payne was just a little over a block away from his home in Redmond when a car struck him. He doesn’t remember what happened next, but paramedics and witnesses say he was knocked out.
"[It] makes it hard to blink or smile," explained Payne, pointing to the side of his face where he’s still suffering from nerve damage.
He also suffered a brain bleed, broken bones and other injuries that landed him in the hospital for more than two weeks.
Despite all of that, Payne is finding a way to take it in stride. He told FOX 13 News that, after two years of COVID, political turmoil, and what seems like a tense country, he’s looking at how people reacted to his injuries and seeing a positive in all of this.
Friends and former co-workers stepped up to help him out. He’s not ready to take care of his service dog Kenton right now, so a friend is watching him until he can. Friends and strangers are combining strengths to start a meal train, ensuring he’s taken care of.
"I get to meet those people and am really impressed at how kind, caring and humane so many people are," said Payne. "Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I have a meal train where people bring me over Indian food!"
Payne started laughing—in fact, he laughed a lot—that’s how his friends say it’s obvious he’s getting better.
He was hit by a car, but he’s still finding things to smile about, from the physical therapists who are helping him regain some of his old self, or the paramedics who followed him home to make sure he made it into his condo safely.
"I learned these were some of the same people that were at the site of my accident and it was so amazing," said Payne. "It was so amazing, to me, to be able to shake their hands, and thank them for saving my life. To be able to go back and talk with them and realize how much they’ve done, how passionate they are about this stuff, it made my day."
Payne's family and friends have organized a GoFundMe to help pay for future recovery expenses.