Travis Johnson always wanted to return to Oregon. Born and raised in the City of West Linn, Travis moved to Agoura Hills at the age of 13 with his family, leaving behind old friends. He attended AE Wright Middle School and graduated from Agoura High while setting his sights on attending Oregon State for their engineering program.
On August 30th, six days shy of his 20th birthday and having just completed summer school, Travis was in West Linn spending some downtime with buddies. “It was sometime between 12 and one in the morning and I decided I wanted to walk home,” said Travis. “I was pretty comfortable with the area, since I grew up there. The last thing I remember was stepping off the porch to leave.”
Though he has no memory of the incident, Travis was brutally assaulted by unknown assailants and left for dead. “I just remember waking up in this [abandoned] warehouse,” he recalled. Severely beaten, he was shirtless, both his phone and the money from his wallet were missing.
Too weak to get very far and with a heavy rain falling outside, he managed to find shelter in an old employee locker room. “I crawled into the room, fortunately found an old employees’ flannel [shirt], wrapped myself up and fell asleep on a small pillow on the ground,” he said.
Travis tells the rest of his gut-wrenching tale and eventual path to safety and recovery in his GoFundMe campaign to assist his family with the costly medical expenses that have already included brain and plastic surgeries. In addition to his own injuries, his father, Lee, recently received heart valve replacement surgery. Travis writes:
I am trying to raise money in an attempt to lighten my father’s load. Whom just had open heart surgery, to pay for my very high medical expenses that should be covered by those who did this to me, but since they have yet to be found, are left with my father to pay. Specifically the money will go towards surgeries removing plates and screws from my face, and my 8-9 oral surgeries which will end up costing over 6 figures due to lack of dental insurance, but must be done in order to resume my normal mouth operations. Money is already tight for my family with college tuition, life expenses, and the surgery my father just received, but now with this incident, things seem almost impossible.
Since establishing his campaign November 7th, Travis has received close to $15,000 of his $50,000 goal. “It’s not like me to ask people for help,” he said. “I was so scared to reach out.” But the support and funds continue to pour in and he says he is “eternally grateful.”
Lee could not be more impressed with his son’s fortitude throughout his ordeal. “Travis’ resilience and positive attitude is best demonstrated by our visit to the DMV to renew his drivers license that expired while he was in the hospital,” Lee said. “Travis is missing most of his front teeth and his mouth is badly misaligned … Travis said, “Dad I’m going to smile for my photo.'”
According to Travis, the police and detectives still have no leads on the perpetrators of the crime. On his page, he writes: “I have lost my sense of smell and hearing in my right ear, but just feel lucky to be alive and not have brain damage.”
Travis plans to return to college in Oregon. “I just want to get back to my normal routine,” he said, hoping to attend classes for the spring semester.
To donate to his fund, go to www.gofundme.com/travisjohnson95.