Man paralyzed in attack reclaiming independence

For three days after Darin Paquette awoke paralyzed in a hospital bed, he couldn’t comprehend how he got there.

For three days after Darin Paquette awoke paralyzed in a hospital bed, he couldn’t comprehend how he got there.

“All I could think was, ‘Wow, what just happened?’” he said. “Reality hadn’t set in.”

Paquette doesn’t remember the “sucker punch” outside H20 Lounge that rendered him a quadriplegic on June 27.

Witnesses say Paquette was hit and toppled over a cement retaining wall. The fall severely damaged his spine.

“I realized I had no feeling in my legs and my arms. Next thing I knew, they were cutting my clothes off in an ambulance and it all went black,” he said.

He has no clue who attacked him. Police are still searching for those responsible.

“They’re faceless to me,” Paquette said. “I’m not angry with them. All I can do is be angry at the situation, though I haven’t had time to be.”

Doctors told Paquette he wouldn’t regain most functions.

Nearly three months later, he’s talking, eating and operating his motorized wheelchair, all on pure motivation.

“There are things I’ll never be able to do again,” he said. “There’s so much I have to do to get myself to a level of independence, I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself.”

His recovery at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital is preparing him to move to an assisted-living facility, he said, which is ironically blocks from the Whyte Avenue watering hole.

Friends have joined forces since the attack to raise money for Paquette. Specialized equipment for daily life is costing him thousands.

Hockey memorabilia is up for bids in an online auction ending Sept. 23 at 32auctions.com under the auction ID “music” and the password “for life.”

“I can’t believe all that’s been done for me,” he said. “I’m awed.”

 
 
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