A young man who survived critical burns to 80 per cent of his body has been made an honorary police officer. Doctors said that Zaid Garcia. from Galveston in Texas. would never survive the fourth degree burns he experienced as a toddler. However he miraculously pulled through after countless operations and skin grafts. Zaid lost both his hands, eyes and right arm at the age of two after a fire broke out when a candle fell onto his blanket as he slept.
From the age of ten, Zaid has had the dream of becoming a police officer. And now, officers in Texas have made that dream come true the DailyMail reports.
Mr Garcia said: “I am so excited, really, I have no words. This is like one of the best days of my life. I told her, mom, I think I can do it, you know, and to be honest I didn’t even believe it myself. Since my accident happened, I like to protect people. So my dream was kinda like to be a police officer.”
When Zaid made the visit to Houston Police Department’s Academy in North Houston he was presented with a junior uniform. He jumped up and down with excitement.
He was also presented with a certificate marking him as a honorary member by their chief Troy Finner. He was also taken out onto the force’ test track where he learnt how to make a traffic stop, take down a suspect and pull over a car.
In videos shared to social media, Zaid can be heard saying: “Stop, I’m officer Garcia!” He also shared his story with some of the young cadets. “I ended up proving doctors wrong, too, you know,” he said. “They thought I could not make it, but here I am.”
Sergeant Jeremy Lahar said: “They really kind of make you take a step back and be appreciative of everything that you might take for granted on a daily basis. Everybody who’s come in contact and had the pleasure of meeting him today has left better than before they met him.”
Following the accident, Zaid was flown from his home in Mexico to San Antonio, Texas, for treatment on the fourth degree burns- which affected his bones, muscles and tissue. He had countless surgeries, amputations and skin grafts.
Doctors covered his burnt eyes with skin to help them heal but Zaid hopes that one day he will be able to have the skin removed and he will regain his sight. Zaid and his family stayed in Texas when he was released from hospital where he now attends a school for the blind.
Sharing more about his childhood, Zaid said: “It was hard growing up to be honest. People are scared of me because of the way I look and when I was young, I tried to commit suicide. My mom told me that was not the right thing. I was finding it hard to fit in at school and make friends. I work hard to improve each day. I just want to be accepted.
“When people meet my parents, my mom prepares them. She explains, ‘Hey, I have a child with disabilities’. She prepares them. Of course, they get surprised, but [soon] they only care about my personality. [When people meet me now], I hope that they think I’m interesting – that I’m easy to talk to.
“I like going out with friends and giving them time to talk with me if they need something. I like to sing and sometimes I write songs or poems. I love art and playing around with pencils. I have other interests, and I hope people see that when they meet me.”