Nebraska first responders return with special gift for patient

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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) -- A Bellevue man was injured after stepping into traffic, but it's what he lost in the accident that made him most upset. However, the first responders, who helped him after the accident, surprised him with a special gift.

For Justin Warner, who is developmentally disabled, music and his Walkman are his comfort.

"It gives me a secure feeling; I like sharing it with other people and like sharing it with friends of mine," said Warner.

Warner’s daily soundtrack stopped Friday after he was hit by a car in Bellevue. He was taken to Nebraska Medicine with a skull fracture.

"I was walking and minding my own and going to Mission and I was hit by this strange dude," Warner said.

At the site of the crash near Mission and Washington, the first responders noticed Justin had a backpack full of CDs. EMT/ Firefighter Michelle Franks said they also noticed his Walkman was broken, so they decided to do something about it.

"I called Officer Spencer and he said that he wasn't sure it survived what happened and so I asked him if he wanted to take it a step up and get donations to get an iPod so that he would no longer have to carry this backpack full of CDs around with him," said Franks.

One by one, the same Bellevue firefighters and police officers who helped him that day walked back into Justin's life on Tuesday.

"From what I understand this is his safety blanket just like most of us, this is what soothes him and after something terrible that happened why not bring some goodness into his life," said Franks.

Warner says it felt like Christmas when he was handed a brand-new iPod. It’s a bit more modern than his old school Walkman, but he also had some gift cards to buy some new tunes.

"I was touched, really touched. Because nobody's been this nice to me in a long time," said Warner.

Franks said it's a difficult job for the first responders and they are often judged harshly, so it's nice for them to have positive encounters with the community.

"We truly do so much for the community that others don’t get to see and we just love what we do and we love our community," said Franks.

"I want to say thank you and God bless you guys for being there for when this accident happened," said Warner.

A wife of one of the officers said the first responders, "are doing really good things and going above and beyond the call."

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