MILTON-FREEWATER -- Although Nels Hadden officially arrived home a month ago, the big blow-out bash commemorating the news is Saturday.
A welcome-home party giving thanks for community support will be at the Milton Freewater Community Building, 1-5 p.m.
Hadden, often dubbed "Eastern Oregon's Good Samaritan," returned to the area after spending 13 months in hospitals when he was hit on Interstate 84 on Jan. 26, 2008.
After stopping to help another driver, Hadden was struck by an out-of-control car as he was putting flares out on the ice-coated highway.
The then-Milton-Freewater man was severely injured and paralyzed from the chest down.
More than a year of recovery and rehabilitation, Hadden has been able to return to the Walla Walla Valley, to a customized home in Walla Walla.
Nels, his wife, Betsy, and his children are throwing Saturday's party as a way to say "thank you" to the community and friends that supported him through this life-changing event, according to a news release. "Without the emotional and financial support that everyone has shown us, it would have been extremely hard to get through this last year," Betsy Hadden said. "We look forward to meeting everyone who has followed our journey and that has continued to reach out to us after such a long time."
The city of Milton-Freewater has donated the use of the Community Building for this event. Rotary International of Milton Freewater will also present Nels the Paul Harris Fellow Award during the event.
Light refreshments will be served and everyone is encourage to stop by and welcome Nels home. For more information, call Betsy Hadden at 509-629-2900.