“Show for Joe” Provides Support to Hit and Run Victim
26-year-old Joe Swegarden: "We're surrounded by a lot of good people here. That's what I got out of it. It's just amazing."
FARGO, N.D. — August 12 is the day 26-year-old Joe Swegarden started running what doctors call his marathon.
“The finish line we’ll probably see in 12-18 months and so we’ll have to be very patient as well as he. And that’s not easy,” said Jon Swegarden, Joe’s father.
Especially when Joe is still piecing together how he even started this race.
“I was just crossing the street, girl came and was coming pretty fast, I put my hands up like ‘ay what’re you doing and that’s the last thing I remember,'” he said.
The woman ran over Swegarden with her car and fled the scene in downtown Fargo. He was then rushed to Sanford, where doctors discovered he had a traumatic brain injury.
“His traumatic brain injury was considered severe and he made such rapid progress that the doctor said ‘this is quite unheard of. He had so much support and so many people praying for him, thousands of people praying for him,” said Barb Swegarden, Joe’s mother. “We honestly believe in large part that was why he made the progress and he continues to make the progress he is.”
One of those supporters is Kris Dissette, who watched Joe’s accident unfold.
“It was traumatic. It was a terrible incident that is unfortunate and I’m just glad the community came together to make the best out of a bad situation,” Dissette said.
Dissette helped to put on this “Show for Joe” featuring performances from local bands and a silent auction, which is all helping to pay Swegarden’s medical bills, language and cognitive therapies and lost wages for not being able to work for the past three months.
“I just met (Dissette) this morning. It was fantastic. I heard so much and it was just great. Nothing but good stuff here. Today’s been a very joyous day,” Joe said.
Especially now that the whole experience has taught Joe a lesson he says he will always carry with him.
“Not everyone is like the girl who hit me. It was a really bad experience but Fargo’s better than that,” Joe said. “We’re surrounded by a lot of good people here. That’s what I got out of it. It’s just amazing.”
If you’d like to help out Joe, you can drop off a check made out to “A Show for Joe” at any Wells Fargo location. You can also donate to his Lend a Hand page here.