Last month we reported on the accident of Officer Paul Meyer that occurred last November when a tree snapped and smashed down on him as he was riding an ATV during a police exercise on Hayden Island. Officer Meyer was an active member of the Portland Police Bureau’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (Same as SWAT). A 100-foot tree destroyed his helmet, broke his
spine and left him paralyzed. Remarkably, he received no brain damage despite the gravity of the blow.
The aspect of this story that is so amazing is that Paul isn’t focused on the loss of the use of his legs, he’s simply grateful to be alive. His new motivation is to find ways to “Pay it Forward”.
The Meyer family has lived in Tualatin for many years. They are very engaged with their neighbors and are intertwined in the community. When this accident happened, their neighbors showed the sort of care, concern and love that should make us all proud to be a part of this community.
Paul’s wife, Mary Meyer, has been involved with every aspect of Paul’s recovery since the word go. I’ve visited with them a couple of times at their temporary home in Tualatin (their permanent home is being retrofitted to accommodate Paul’s wheelchair) and as I wrote her after our first meeting, it is not just his strength that’s incredible, it’s hers as well. Their bond with each other is palpable and a necessary ingredient in all of this.
While there have been many reports about the van that was “gifted” to the Meyer family, circumstances have changed and a combination of generosity from the Police Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund (FPD&R) and Brian Sanders of Dick Hannah Toyota will ultimately fund the van. In the photos you’ll see this new van and the joy it has brought to Paul and Mary Meyer.
Since I was fortunate enough to receive a detailed update from Mary last week, I thought I’d simply run excerpts from it so you can see the sort of strength and humility she brings to the table.