In 2011, U.S. Marine Matias Ferreira was on a mission in Afghanistan when he jumped from a roof and landed on a 30-pound bomb hidden in the ground. His legs were shattered in the blast and had to be amputated below the knee, which meant his dreams of serving his country were shattered as well.
However, Ferreira has overcome incredible obstacles in the years since his injury and has just fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer. “I was given a second chance,” Ferreira said. “Not many people survive an IED blast like I did. I don’t want to be one of the guys who just kind of gives up on themselves.”
Ferreira is believed to be the first double amputee to serve fully as a police officer, but like every other recruit, he had to pass all the same physical tests during the 29 weeks of training with the Suffolk County Police Academy. “This is someone who served our nation, paid a significant sacrifice, and is now able to overcome adversity in a tremendous way,” Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said. “He’s done a terrific job as a recruit in the academy, both physically, academically and in his leadership to the other recruits, and he’s going to make a fine officer.”
“I’m just really eager and excited to prove myself to my colleagues in my new job, my new career, that I’m capable of doing the job just as well as somebody with both legs. I don’t think the prosthetics hinder me in any way,” Ferreira said. “To watch my husband achieve his dream that I think most people would thing wasn’t even possible is really special,” wife Tiffany said.
“A lot of guys are like, ‘What happens if one of your legs break?’ ” he said. “ ‘I’m sorry to say, but if I break my leg, I go in the trunk, I put on a new one. If you break your leg, you’re out for a couple months, my friend.’ ”
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[Featured image: Facebook/Suffolk County Police Department]