PORTLAND, Ore – For the first time in 44 days, Lane County Deputy Drew Wattier and his wife, Michelle, critically injured in Mexico after being struck by a driver in a hit-and-run, were officially reunited.
After a mostly peaceful flight to Portland Friday night for Michelle, Saturday the Wattiers were able to revel in a special moment, when family members arranged for the couple to see each other. Drew’s mom says he’s been saying some words and inquiring to walk. He is able to be in a wheelchair and is off of 24-hour monitoring. She says he has technically been awake for about a week. Michelle’s brother says she is nearly physically “fixed” after surgery, but the pain is a lot to bear and the road to healing is still a long one. But Saturday, Drew’s sister was able to bring him into Michelle’s room, just a few doors down from his.
“She reached out to him and he reached out to her and they held hands. Michelle looked at him and she said, ‘I love you so much Drew,’” said Andrea Wattier, Drew’s mom.
Both families say seeing the two together again, holding hands, was extremely emotional.
“She was bright eyed and was so happy to see Drew today. It’s really important for them to be together,” said Mike Brye, Michelle’s brother.
Andrea Wattier says doctors have told her each step of the way that if Drew and Michelle hadn’t been such healthy, strong individuals, they would not be here. Family members hope and expect the couple will be able to see each other as often as possible.
Staff at Streets Food Cart in Eugene, some who are ex-convicts who have crossed paths with Drew, also took part in recovery efforts. They raised a total of $1,864 for the couple’s bills Saturday.