FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — August 1, 2018, started as a normal workday for Army Spc. Luke Sanders.
He was on his way to lunch when his whole life changed in an instant after he was hit by a car while walking across Gruber Road.
“I was knocking on heaven’s door,” Sanders said.
He was within minutes of losing his life.
He spent 22 days in a coma, in and out of hospitals for the next year.
He has a traumatic brain injury, hearing loss and he’s in constant pain, but he’s a glass half full kind of guy.
“You do the best with what you’re given.”
Luke’s leadership described him using five words that are now tattooed on his chest:
“Grit, resilience, compassion, positivity, and one of the most important ones, forgiveness.”
Luke says his faith in God, his support system and his ability to forgive is what helped him survive.
“I don’t think my recovery would have gone as well as it has if I had anger and malice in my heart,” Sanders said. “Since being able to forgive her for having that negligence, I think it was key for me and is important for anybody really.”
Since Luke was hit, crosswalk warning lights have been installed at the crosswalk.
Luke will be medically retired from the Army. He plans to finish his college degree and start a new career in sports broadcasting.
“You always have to have that end goal in mind, and kind of roll with the punches,” Sanders said. “Whatever happens in life just keep pushing and keep striving.”
Luke says the driver stayed on scene and faced the charges against her.
He’s hoping to meet up with her at some point to let her know he forgives her.
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