In 2017, Officer Matias Ferreira joined the Suffolk County PD in Babylon, New York, as the only double-amputee cop in the nation. Yes, despite the agonizing seemingly unending period he had to face on the road to recovery, he is our hero today. He is on a journey to inspire you that all hope is not lost.
On that fateful 21, Jan. 2011, Marine Lance Corporal Ferreira jumped off a roof and landed on a concealed IED just after an accomplished raid on a cold night in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. “I looked down and saw that my lower legs were gone,” he recalls. “But I had so many buddies who had gotten hurt that it was as if I had already accepted it.”
Ferreira was rushed to nearby Bagram Airfield where he was stabilized then flown to Germany and later Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. On arrival, his nom hardly recognized him that he had to lift his hand to get her attention as he was being wheeled into the hospital. Oh, the strength of a mother; she said, “Honey, you’ll be okay.”
Thanks to the Marines program of peer mediation where they send out fellows who’ve been hurt to talk with injured Marines, Ferreira got inspired by Josh Wege, another double amputee Marine when he started his intensive rehabilitation process. This was after his multiple surgeries to repair a broken pelvis and femur and after he was outfitted with twin prosthetics.
“Hearing about all the things he still does made me realize I was going to play sports again, I was going to get a job, and I was going to be OK.”
Not quite a surprise to himself with all the effort he had put into it, on Jan. 7, 2012, Ferreira finished the Disney Half Marathon in 3 hours, 54 minutes. He then started touring the country with the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team where more goodness came his way and he met his wonderful future wife. “In the hospital, I didn’t even know if girls would want to talk to me again.” They later became engaged and had a daughter.
Shortly after having his daughter, Ferreira witnessed a traffic accident and saved a baby from a burning car. “I ran up without thinking,” he recounts. This incident inspired him to enroll in Long Island’s Suffolk County Police Academy for 29 weeks of intensive training in 2016. Having graduated top of class, the military set him up for success.
“There’s always something to be positive about,” he says. “Now I pull up my pant legs and people go, Oh my God, that is awesome! If I lived my life secluded from the world, people would never get to see my perseverance and know they can push through too.” The storm always passes.#Rewordit