Crash victim ‘tops off’ miraculous recovery

Payne Sigman tops an 11,500 canned food pyramid. (Photo by: WDTN/Jake Ryle)


BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) — The road to recovery for Bellbrook High School student Payne Sigman goes beyond the long hours in therapy. According to his fellow classmates, his will to return to a normal life has given him a chance to walk again.

Sigman was paralyzed from a car accident in January. For Payne, and his family, the road to recovery from the crash started with small steps.

“I mean I come from not being able to even walk or hold my head up, to where I am now,” Payne said.

Ten months of Payne spending hours in rehab, and exercises–he’s now able to walk again. On Tuesday, he made another step. This time–climbing them.

“That was one of the most inspiring pyramid toppings I’ve witnessed,” JROTC cadet Katie Reuber said.

Members of the JROTC program at Bellbrook High created a pyramid of cans. It was all a part of the annual canned food drive.

“What these kids and cadets have done gathering this much food, it’s incredible,” Payne said.

Even after the accident — Payne is still a captain on the soccer and football teams at Bellbrook. He says he didn’t need to do any extra weight-lifting sessions to hoist the last can to the top.

“They had me just hold the can in one hand, see if I could do that,” Payne added.

It’s an annual canned food collection that saw a spike. More than 11,500 cans were donated this year. Up more than 1,000 since last year.

Alexandra Constable, a JROTC member, said cadets went door-to-door to gather canned foods.

“The cadets bring in cans as well, and collect from houses,” she said.

Cadets say the generosity from the Bellbrook community shines just as bright as Payne’s will to get back on his feet.

“He’s worked so hard to recover, and we’ve worked so hard to get these cans for families. It’s just incredible.”

The more than 11,500 cans of food will be donated to four food banks in the area

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