JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Patrick Allan remembers the day his life changed forever almost 15 years ago.
“Three guys tried to rob and jump me, and from what other people said I got curb stomped into the pavement,” said Allan.
It left him with severe brain injuries that affected every part of his life.
“I was getting really bad migraines, my memory, I couldn’t tie my shoes and hold a conversation. I would just blank out. I wouldn’t know who anybody was.”
That’s when doctors told him the journey ahead would not be easy.
“Just because of the symptoms that I had trying to find any kind of job would be almost impossible,” said Allan.
Allan wouldn’t take no for an answer. He knew he had to work. The problem was driving was off the table. That’s when a friend helped him get started with a JATA shuttle service, a low-cost program that would give him a ride to work for an automotive company called MACI. It gave him a job, and in the process, his life back.
“He’s eager and he’s got the strength,” said JATA Relations Manager, Calvin Miller. “He’s building his energy up every day to ride and we are here to help him and support him in all that he does and we are going to make sure that JATA is here,” said Miller.
So for the past seven years, he’s shown up at this bus stop every week, determined to not let his injuries hold him back.
“I’m very grateful,” he said.
Leaders say seeing his positive attitude and his strength to keep going inspires them.
“A lot of people would accept that as just defeating and ok throw in the towel. He accepted that as a challenge and he’s absolutely made the most of it,” said Director of Operations for Excel Staffing, Jennifer Kinstle.
Alan is improving, and when he looks back in the rearview mirror to where he stands today he says he’s learned a lesson about himself and what’s possible when a community comes together to help.
“How strong we are as people, and if you try hard enough you can bounce back from anything,” said Allan.