EUGENE, Ore. — Another big milestone for a Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy severely injured with his wife by a hit-and-run driver while vacationing in Mexico.
For the last 10 or so months KEZI 9 News has followed Drew and Michelle Wattier’s recovery.
Drew’s sister and brother-in-law are starting a new chapter for the family by opening up a new restaurant in Eugene.
Drew and his family snapped pictures on Friday at the 5th Street Market, but those are pictures they couldn’t imagine nearly a year ago.
In Novemeber, Drew and his wife Michlle were hit. Both suffered injuries that nearly killed them.
“I was in the hospital for 20 weeks and I was in a coma for 39 days,” said Drew. Drew and Michelle’s recovery was and is still hard. It’s people like Nicole and Scott Garrett who’ve had their backs. Nicole is Drew’s sister.
After news of the accident, the Garretts packed up their lives in Los Angeles and moved to Eugene. Scott gave up his job in the restaurant industry, but it seems a bigger plan was taking shape.
“You know in the grand scheme of things you look back in full circle and this is what it was all about is bringint the family together and starting this,” said Scott. He’s talking about a brand new restaurant the Garretts opened called Baker Butcher. It’s in the middle of the 5th Street Market in the International Cafe.
It’s a farm shop italian with an emphasis on locally grown food, community and family.
“My brother Drew Wattier is the main motivation for us making our dream come true. Watching him improve over the last 10 months makes us know and believe that anything is possible,” said Nicole.
There will be daily reminders of that motivation. If you look closely there’s meaningful markings carved into the backdrop of this restaurant. 284 stands for Drew’s badge number and his favorite carving.
“The best thing is the D and M,” added Drew.
“One life to live has been their motto so we just went for it,” said Nicole.
And there’s word the Garretts are putting Drew to work. When we told him that he laughed and pointed to his seat at the counter saying, “right here.” So maybe he’ll enjoy sitting at the counter more, but the Garretts say it’s what he stands for that makes this place magical.
“I am totally happy for them it’s great. I am so excited for them it’s perfect it’s a great place.” added Drew.
“It gives me faith that anything is possible. There’s nothing you can’t do when you have the right mentality, when you have the right outlook on life, when you have the support of the community and your friends,” said Scott.
Baker Butchers soft opening is Saturday.
Michelle also continues to slowly recover. She’s had a number of surgeries. While it may look a little different these days, Drew and Michelle’s love remains just as strong.