EUGENE, Ore (KMTR) – 71 days after a Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy and his wife were hit and nearly killed while on vacation in Mexico, Drew Wattier has finally returned home to Eugene.
Drew Wattier was moved to a long-term care facility in the Eugene-Springfield area on Thursday, February 7. His wife Michelle remains at a care facility in Portland where she is undergoing extensive physical therapy.
Both suffered significant injuries in a November 30, 2012 hit-and-run, including broken bones and head trauma.
With Drew back in Eugene, some of his immediate family members say it is a big step forward in his recovery. NewsSource 16 spoke with Drew’s sister Nicole Garrett and Drew’s mother Andrea Wattier on Friday. The two say the community support has helped tremendously in recovery efforts.
"All the things that people are doing, I know that people have their own lives and I can't believe all the time that's spent helping them recover and get better,” says Nicole.
“People have been absolutely incredible and it just goes to show that these two people, Drew and Michelle, have such wonderful friends and they've given back to their community and their community has given back to them now,” says Andrea.
Family members continue to share insight into Drew and Michelle’s recovery on the website www.teamwattier.com
and the couple’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/drewmichellexoxo
Originally, Drew was in a coma. Today, he is now spending lots of time awake, also interacting with people through text messaging and calling. His family says he still has a great sense of humor and sarcasm, but the next step is more in-depth cognitive rehabilitation.
“Speech, that's going to be a huge thing, getting all of his words back and forming proper sentences. You know, reading and writing again. We saw himwrite and sign his name and stuff like that, but that's going to be a process,” says Nicole.
Drew’s family continues to remain very optimistic about his recovery.
"I honestly see him getting back to who he is and I really don't think it's going to take him more than a year,” says Nicole.
“He’s never been negative. Everything has been positive and I think that's been beneficial to his recovery along with having great healthy bodies,” says Andrea.
Drew’s wife Michelle continues her rehab work in Portland. The family is hoping to get her back in Eugene in the coming weeks.