EUGENE, Ore. — A Eugene man who was the victim of a hit-and-run says the crash was actually a blessing in disguise.
If William Grimwood hadn’t been hit by a car, doctors may have not have found out he had leukemia.
On Aug. 5, Grimwood was walking to meet some of his friends when the unthinkable happened. Someone hit him in broad daylight, a few blocks from his house, and then left him in the street.
“It felt like time stood still. Everything kind of slowed down for a bit,” Grimwood said.
The 20-year-old says the point of impact is hazy.
“It was kind of like a mixture of blacking out and slowing down. You originally have the impact, and it seemed fast after I hit the ground. But while it was happening, it kind of felt slow motion,” Grimwood said.
Grimwood says he’s pretty resilient and that’s why he just got up and walked away after he’d been hit. But his family wasn’t so convinced, and they were worried he could have suffered internal bleeding or a concussion. So they rushed him to the hospital.
“They looked at the bruise, they checked something, and they moved me on,” Grimwood said.
Grimwood says the hospital’s treatment was minimal. It wasn’t until about a week later he was back in the ER after he started running a fever. They weren’t prepared for what happened next.
“Stunned when they started talking about abnormal cells in his blood. I was like, okay,” said Kathy Grimwood, Will’s mother.
Grimwood was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, a rare form of the disease that if not caught early can be deadly in just days.
“What really was on our minds was if these are his last days on earth, you know what can we do to make it better for him,” Kathy Grimwood said.
But after 32 days in the hospital, things are looking better for him. And he’s not holding a grudge against the driver who left him in the street because he says the experience has just tested his will to fight.
“I’m kind of used to just rolling with the punches. And I figured this is just one more thing and it was. I mean I’m going to beat it. I’m going to continue on. I’m going to keep going,” Grimwood said.
Grimwood is set to continue treatment in a month. Doctors say most people who make it through the first month of treatment live.
Grimwood says he’s been pretty positive through this process, but he’s disappointed he’ll have to push back enrolling at Lane Community College for fall term.