DENVER — A Denver man remained bed-ridden for almost a month now after a driver hit him and left him for dead. It happened the last day of the Denver Stock Show Jan. 25.
Thirty days later, the 71-year-old is barely on the road to recovery. “It’s something I wouldn’t wish on my rottenest enemy,” says Isaac Wak Wak, an active member of the Colville Native American tribe.
It’s hard to imagine lying in a bed for 30 days straight–with many more weeks to come. “Right now, I’m just useless. Useless, helpless and wondering why this happened?” questions Wak Wak.
It’s even harder to imagine if you know Wak Wak. “I do Zumba Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. During weekends when there are Pow Wows, I’m dancing,” he says.
But all that changed Jan. 25, when a car hit him from behind as he walked to his car after leaving the stock show.
“I don’t remember being hit,” he said.
He broke his pelvis, both arms, both legs and dislocated a knee.
He said the accident has also frighteningly taken a toll on his memory. “I had to say a word. I couldn’t remember the sentence, it’s so embarrassing,” he said with tears in his eyes.
After 25 days in the hospital, he’s now at Monaco Parkway Health and Rehabilitation Center in Denver. He has a long road ahead of him, including several more surgeries and months of rehab.
“Pow Wow season is right upon us, but I can’t go to nothing. I’m very heartbroken over that,” he said quietly.
He is a long way from dancing, let alone walking. Right now, he is learning the basic activities of daily living, like brushing his teeth and washing his face. Even shaving is something he can’t do alone yet.”
“Makes me angry, that this person, he’s walking around and my brother here is laying here, all broken up,” Wak Wak’s sister, Diane Yankton, said.
But Wak Wak said he’s not defeated. He knows that driver who never even stopped will get his own. “Karma is going to come back to that person,” he said.
And he will eventually be back on his feet, back to living with purpose. “I’m a strong person. I won’t give in. I’ve got very strong convictions and ideals and a strong faith,” he said.
The Colorado State Patrol is still investigating the hit-and-run, but investigators said nothing has come from the tips they received.
The suspect vehicle is a smaller dark sports sedan with a spoiler and a blue light coming from the undercarriage.
The family has also set up a gofundme.com page to help with Wak Wak’s medical bills.