A firefighter/medic in Georgia has defied the odds to return to work after being shot 14 times.
The man, identified as Eddie Baker, was shot outside his home by his neighbor, who is now serving a 20-year sentence, in December 2014 following a disagreement.
He suffered gunshot wounds to his chest, spine and arm and suffered a broken femur, jaw, shoulder along with seven broken fingers.
Mr. Baker revealed that the gunshot injuries resulted in him having 10 surgeries. He said the doctors told him he would not be able to work again.
”I would always ask is there ever going to be a chance where I will be able to get back to the fire department and they always told me no and it was heartbreaking every single time.”
He, however, did not let the opinions of the medical professionals deter him from getting back to work. He went through two rigorous years of rehab which included learning how to walk again.
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After those two years, the 11-year veteran miraculously returned to work back at the firehouse.
He credited his faith and belief as well as his family and co-workers. He said his now 11-year-old daughter always encouraged him to fight.
”She always thought that I was going to be able to come back and she would tell me every day, ‘you know I’m sick of you sitting around here, it’s time to get up and do your exercises.”’
College Park Fire Chief Wade Elmore welcomed back Mr. Baker to the firehouse with open arms. He revealed that the firefighter had not missed a paycheck thanks to the support of his co-workers.
”Everyone donated probably over two years of vacation time to him, so he did not miss a check while he was out,” said Chief Elmore.
”He is a model employee, so I would say he means a whole lot to us.”
Another fellow firefighter and a longtime friend of Mr. Baker, Orlando Gray said:
”He is the crazy one of the crew, once he got back he just stepped right back into that role.”