Patterson makes first public appearance since August accident - FOX 32 News Chicago

Patterson makes first public appearance since August accident

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By Roop Raj
Fox 2 News Reporter

PONTIAC, Mich. (WJBK) -- "The reason I get emotional at all is because I can now see through the therapy that at the end, a month or two, I'll be walking into this room to greet all of you.  That's my goal," said L. Brooks Patterson.

As he fought back tears, we got our first look Tuesday afternoon at the Oakland County executive.  He was in a wheelchair after an August 10 car accident.  Looking frail, Patterson chocked up talking about what the doctors said was a three to ten percent chance of survival.

His daughter, Mary Warner, was setting next to him in the Oakland County Executive Conference Room like she did at the hospital when he was unconscious for more than two weeks with broken ribs, wrists, a hip and knee.  Doctors weren't sure he would make it.  Neither was Mary.

"I said to the doctor, 'You just need to tell me right now is he going to die because I have to prepare myself.  I'm seven months pregnant.  I just lost my brother from an accident.  I've got to be ready for this, so just give it to me straight.'  She said, 'I don't think so.'"

When asked about not wearing a seat belt during the accident, Patterson called it a dumb mistake, something he regrets and plans to change.

"I have made a commitment to wear the belt every day going forward, and if I have to become the poster boy for click it or lose it, I'll do it as I think in the final analysis it does save some lives and certainly will save some bones."

The press conference ended so Patterson could go back to business.  His first staff meeting was scheduled for later in the day.

"I'm in good shape and I can still run a campaign," Patterson told reporters.

Patterson also explained he is not much of a telecommuter and looks forward to coming to work at the office and having a cup of coffee with his employees.

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