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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 37  |  May 7, 2021

Local Good Samaritan injured in car accident needs help on the road to recovery

Many residents have already heard the news that local Sam Palmer – husband, dad, artist, and masonry business owner – was terribly injured in a car accident two weeks ago on Pacific Coast Hwy on his way to help a stranger jump start his car. 

In a matter of minutes, Sam awoke to the jaws of life and found himself being rushed to the nearest trauma hospital with three broken ribs, broken scapula, multiple fractures up his spine and neck, and two dissected carotid arteries.

“After two weeks in the ICU, we were all afraid he would suffer from a major stroke due to the severity of his injuries,” says his daughter Makaila. “The emergency team who assisted at the scene of the accident explained to us how lucky he was to survive.” 

Local good family

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Submitted photo

The Palmer Family – (L-R) Natalee, Sam, Makaila, and Rosemary (center)

His family says that his truck saved his life, along with the incredible doctors and nurses at Mission Hospital who helped him remain stable each day thereafter.

“Although the accident was one of the scariest day of our lives, it’s just as scary to imagine our father not being able to return to his masonry business,” says Makaila. 

Sam has been a self-employed masonry contractor for over 30 years. He works locally in Orange County to help design and build beautiful outside stone work on driveways, patios, pools, and walkways.

Local good Sawdust

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Sam helping Makaila build her Sawdust Art Festival booth. They have built it together every year for the last 5 years.

“We only hope he will be able to fully recover from this accident and build strong foundations for other people again,” says Mikaila. “His only mission in life has been to serve others. We are hopeful he will continue to do so.” 

Natalee, Sam’s younger daughter, created a GoFundMe page to help her father on the road to recovery. To access, click here.

“After two weeks in the ICU, Sam needs a little help to get back on his feet,” says Natalee. “The hospital nights were terrifying, filled with mini-strokes and intubation. He has been fighting every day to heal quickly, but the road to recovery is just beginning. The hardest part is realizing that he may not be able to return to his masonry business soon, if at all. We appreciate all your help in advance to support Sam’s fight back to his life.”

Local good couple

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Submitted photo

Sam and Rosemary

Latest update from Natalee as of Sunday, April 25:

“After 16 days on his back, Sam was able to sit up for the first time yesterday in a chair and enjoy lunch! He has been moved out of the ICU into the stroke unit where he is being closely monitored for his high risk injuries, but we are hopeful physical rehabilitation can start soon.

“We are in tears! A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to Sam’s recovery thus far. Our family is beyond grateful for all the love and community support. The warm wishes and many prayers are helping to boost his spirits and heal his body.”

To contribute to Sam’s GoFundMe, click here.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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