PONTIAC (WWJ) – Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson literally took a stand as he was sworn in for his sixth 4-year term.

It’s been a long road to recovery for Patterson who, on Aug. 10 of this year, was involved in a serious two car wreck that left him with numerous broken bones and confined to wheelchair.

With help, the 73-year-old Patterson stood up from his wheelchair and walked to the podium, receiving thunderous applause.

Standing for only a short time, Patterson told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Kathryn Larson it was a huge step.

“Standing is evidence that you’re regaining some of the strength in your legs. When you lay in bed like I did for close to 60 days, your entire body atrophies. And I was in pretty good shape — I’d been working out with a trainer for years and I thought, for my age … I wasn’t gonna run the Boston marathon or anything, but I was satisfied I was in decent condition.

“The good news is this is only temporary. I’ll be out of this chair … I’m guessing four weeks, six weeks. I’m impatient  I wanna bounce back,” Patterson said. “But I realize that, with the extent of the injuries that I suffered, I’m glad to be sitting here this Christmas.

Patterson was hospitalized until Sept. 14, followed by physical therapy.

He returned to work on Oct. 30.

A Royal Oak man, found responsible in the crash at Walton Boulevard and Opdyke Road in Auburn Hills, pleaded not guilty at a pretrial hearing in September. He is slated for trial in January.


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