He may have lost both legs, but New York-based Matias Ferreira is now the first double amputee in the U.S. to become a full-time active police officer.
Matias lost his legs while stepping on an IED in Afghanistan. After his amputation, he went into a year of rehab learning to work with prosthetic legs.
He recently completed 29 weeks of police training, and will also speak at the graduation ceremony as class president.
“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,” Matias Ferreira told Newsday. “I don’t think the prosthetics hinder me in any way.”
Prosthetics didn’t even get in the way with the physical training he received. The 28-year-old managed all the sit-ups, push-ups and even runs. He even trained in taking down attackers, and got right back when he fell once during training.
Matias had his Marine work ethic to draw upon, and he also saw his prosthetics as an advantage. “A lot of guys are like, ‘What happens if one of your legs break?’ I’m sorry to say, but if I break my leg, I go in the trunk, I put on a new one,” he told Newsday. “If you break your leg, you’re out for a couple months, my friend.”
This isn’t the first time Matias was in the spotlight — he made headlines when he saved a baby from a smoking car crash in Howard Beach.
Clearing serving and helping others is a key part of Matia’s character — and it’s one that will serve him as he continues on his journey as a hero to others. Watch Matia’s story below, and be inspired by his determination, strength and humility…