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Payne’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Latest Journal Update

February 1, 2015

Hello everyone.  This is Payne typing this one.  I am blown away by the crazy amount of people there are that would read these posts every day during my lengthy hospital stay.  In addition, many of you that continued to read these posts even though I am back to school and functioning well enough to live a long, happy life. This may sound cliché, but it really shows me just how many caring and loving people there are in this world. A large number of you I have never even met, yet you continue to care deeply for me through my recovery.

As I said in my most recent speech, this recovery has not been easy.  I have had to spend hour upon hour doing exercises in an attempt to regain my lost abilities.  Now I say “attempt” because, like my therapist has told me, whether I will be able to run again is not a guarantee, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working hard.  Hard work will certainly improve my odds of regaining these skills.   At a recent basketball practice, my coach asked us to write a motivational quote on a card that will be given to youth basketball players on Wee Eagles’ night. What I wrote down was, “Improvement doesn’t happen just because you wish it to happen, it comes from hard work and determination.”    

I fully understand the realities that could possibly be in front of me, but it doesn’t bother me because I believe that God has a plan for everything and it is a much better plan than anything I could ever dream up.  Many people have asked me how I have been able to stay so positive through this whole ordeal. This is a direct result of the faith I have that through God’s plan, I will be able to achieve great things in my life and my journey will inspire others along the way.    

A year ago, I was scheduled to go on an overnight visit to Trine University, but because of my accident this plan was postponed.  Finally, I will be making that visit on February16.  This fall I plan on going to a small school to major in biomedical engineering.

So to end this post I just want to say again how thankful I am for the incredible support I have received from all of you.  The prayers that many of you have prayed for me is very much appreciated.  Because of the support from all of you, the Play4Payne Foundation was established. This is just one example of a positive result of such a terrible accident.  The website for the foundation is  We will continue posting on Caring Bridge every now and then to mark any major milestones that I may reach.

77 people hearted this



Lena Spears
By Lena Spears
We are so proud of what you have accomplished!
God is good!
Missi Langel
By Missi Langel
Very well said!
Jared Wojtas
By Jared Wojtas
Payne - Your hard work, courage, and determination is inspiring! Keep pushing and I have no doubt you will get to where you want to be. Your speech at our meeting in San Diego was top notch, wondeful job! I look forward to seeing more of your progress!
Bob Hester
By Bob Hester
Pretty cool Payne! The subject of the story becomes the storyteller! You have an amazing story to share and your faith is very inspirational. Having followed your recovery, it is very apparent that your determination will serve you well through your life. The support from your extended family
"everywhere"... given to you and your family is well placed! Your mom and dad have a raised a fine young man that has raised the bar for everyone! Keep pushing on buddy.
Jane Ellicott
By Jane Ellicott
What an amazing journey Payne. The extraordinary thing is, while you may never meet many who have prayed for you, we may never meet you or each other either, yet we were all brought together as one family in Christ because of you. Now you are sharing wisdom beyond your years with us. I've shared your story (ISM youtube) with my children and more in hopes they will also get a glimpse of and share your message. Stay strong and like Peter, keep your eyes focused straight ahead. You are contagiously courageously!
laura Songer
By The Songer Family
It makes our hearts happy to have the Caring Bridge post come from you! How far you have come-wow!!!
Your hard work and fierce determination is impressive, and how you've handled your situation because of your faith in God even more so. Your choice to grow your faith, to trust God in times when it must be exceedingly difficult is a blessing to others who are going through difficult situations, and a reminder of how to live for those who aren't. Your influence is far-reaching, and what an absolute delight it must be for God to use you to touch others.
Thank you and your parents for sharing on this site. Enjoy your upcoming visit to Trine!
Susan Lopez
By Susan Lopez
Great post Payne. Love the quote and the positive spirit! Best of all your faith in triumph though God, hard work, and whatever comes your way.
Cindy Wandschneider
By Cindy Wandschneider
Your journey has been so inspirational to so many people! You are such an amazing young man. Thanks for continuing to share you story. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for you. Many blessings to you and your family!
The Wandschneider Family
Jenny Olson
By Jenny Olson
Payne, I work with your Dad and love hearing about your progress from him. Your spirit throughout your journey has been truly inspirational. You have touched a lot of people, near and far. Keep going with the positive attitude you have-it will take you far. I watched the video of your ISM speech and it brought tears to my eyes. I can only imagine how moving it was in person. I know you had the whole room reignited and on their feet! Thanks so much for sharing and keep on pushing!
Laurie Schupanitz Sadler
By Laurie Sadler
You are a wonderful young man who has overcome so much through determination, hard work, faith and the support of your wonderful family! Keep the faith! You continue to be in my prayers! God Bless you and your family Payne!