MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man who survived a horrible accident has already endured a long road and still has a ways to go. But he reached a significant milestone Saturday.

In October on a rural road in Monticello, Darin Hayes was hit by a drunk driver whose blood alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit.

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Hayes suffered a badly broken leg, shattered kneecaps, broken ribs, arms and fingers. His truck was also totaled.

On Saturday, for the first time since that dark day, he was able to leave the hospital for a little while. He spent it surrounded by the people who’ve been there during this tough time.

“You know, it was nice at Thanksgiving to see your immediate family, but then to see your coworkers and stuff like that and relatives in one spot is really nice,” he said. “It’s kind of overwhelming and very gratifying.”

Friends and family held a fundraiser in Annandale to help cover Hayes’ mounting medical bills and other expenses that have piled up since the crash.

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“I want to give a big thanks to my wife, Sara, for doing all the stuff that’s she’s done. It’s been a long, long way to get here,” he said.

Hayes does up to six hours of therapy a day. He moved into a wheelchair last week so he wasn’t constantly lying down. Three days later, he stood for the first time.

Though he has some work left to do, he recognizes how far he’s come.

“I’ll be just starting to walk again and after that, if I can do stairs, then I’ll be good to go home. So that’s my goal,” he said.

Hayes hopes to be home and out of the hospital in a month.

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To help Hayes, donations can be made to Annandale State Bank. You can follow his story on his CaringBridge site.