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Former Palisades Market Place employee tries to get back to 'normal' life after traumatic incident in 2018

PMG PHOTO: CLARA HOWELL  - After Mohammad Fawad Mohammadi recovered from a traumatic incident where he lost part of his right leg, he is seeking a job that fits his situation. Mohammad Fawad Mohammadi can walk again. He can even play soccer with his three-year-old son, Matin.

After Mohammadi lost part of his right leg, six inches below the knee, in 2018 when he was intentionally struck and pinned between two cars, he is slowly taking steps back into his "normal" life.

Mohammadi was visiting the Oregon coast with his wife and son last year when they were involved in a minor traffic accident in Lincoln City.

He and his wife had exited their vehicle to assess the damage and exchange insurance information, police told the Review last year, when the other driver involved in the accident put his car in reverse and backed toward the couple, whose infant son was still in the car.

Mohammadi pushed his wife to safety, but he was struck by the other driver's vehicle and pinned between the two cars. Police said the assailant then pulled forward and, without warning, drove toward Mohammadi again; this time, he was able to roll out of the way.

Fast forward more than one year later after a near six-month recovery process and Mohammadi — with the help of insurance and funds raised by the Palisades Market Place employees where Mohammadi worked prior to the incident — has regained more freedom with the help of a prosthetic.

But adjusting to life with his prosthetic didn't come without challenges.

COURTESY PHOTO - Mohammad Fawad Mohammadi can now play soccer with his son, Matin.
After the incident, Mohammadi, his wife and son decided to visit his family in Afghanistan — he hadn't returned home in four years — and his wife's family who immigrated to Russia.

He hadn't told his mother about the attack prior to landing in Afghanistan and he let his siblings break the news upon his arrival.

"I can't forget it. As soon as I entered our house when she (my mother) saw me, she started running toward me and crying," Mohammadi said. "It was difficult. It was a hard day."

To make matters more difficult, his leg became infected from his prosthetic and when he returned to the United States, he underwent another surgery.

"While I was in the hospital (the second time) they were telling me it is possible I will lose my knee too so it was really hard for me," he said. "They did a really good job at saving my knee."

After the surgery, Mohammadi was bedridden. But before long, he was back using a prosthetic — and trying to find a job.

Palisades had welcomed him back but one day before he planned to return to work he had another problem with his leg, which made it difficult for him to walk or stand. He decided he should find a job where he didn't need to stand for long periods of time.

Shortly after Mohammadi decided to seek other work, Palisades also announced that it would be closing its doors for good in October.

"I was so upset. I got sad because (there were) very nice people there and a very good neighborhood," Mohammadi said. "I have good memories from working there."

Since Mohammadi's recovery, he has adjusted to driving Uber and Lyft for work with one leg, though he is seeking another job.

He's currently putting his son through preschool while his wife attends Portland Community College to become a patient access specialist.

Regaining freedom

PMG PHOTO: CLARA HOWELL  - Mohammad Fawad Mohammadi says he is thankful for everyone who has supported him through his recovery process.

Now that Mohammadi can drive again, he's happy to have some of his freedom back. He's also enjoyed playing and being active with his son. About a month ago, he even got back into the gym.

He and his wife are also active in improving their mental health after the incident and are "trying to start a new life again and forget what happened to us and get back to a normal life," he said.

Before the accident, Mohammadi was attending PCC for computer science, working full-time at Palisades and driving Uber and Lyft on the side. He said he hopes that he can eventually return to college.

"Right now, I think mentally I'm not going to be able to do three things at the same time," he said. "I am happy that I am back to my normal life and (can) start walking again. It was hard to be on the wheelchair and see yourself on the wheelchair.

"I am grateful (for all the help) that I've received from people from everywhere. … I want to thank everyone for their prayers."


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