A 19-year-old who “miraculously” survived having 80% of his body burned during a horrific candle fire at his home has been made an honorary police officer.
Zaid Garcia was left with severe burns after a candle caught fire to his home in 2015 and engulfed his blankets as he slept. His eyes were so severely burned in the incident which happened when he was a toddler, that surgeons covered them in skin to help them recover.
But in an uplifting turn of events, Zaid, from Galveston, Texas, United States, has become an honorary police officer against all the odds – fulfilling a dream he has had since he was aged just 10-years-old. New images of the lad being given a tour of the police station, and a ride in a cop car, have been posted online, while a video shows him being called “Officer Garcia”.
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And speaking to local news outlets, he 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.
“I ended up proving doctors wrong, too, you know. They thought I could not make it, but here I am.”
And his appearance at the station was an emotional one for officers on-site. 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.”
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After the fire, Zaid was flown to his former home in Mexico to a hospital in Texas, where he received the treatment for fourth degree burns, which saved his life. When Zaid was released from hospital, his family settled in Texas, where he attended a school for the blind.
Doctors predicted he would never talk or walk, but nowadays he is considered a medical marvel as he tackles his challenges head on.
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