Thank God for the U.S. Marines.
Matias Ferreira, a former Marine who had just left his wedding rehearsal, is being celebrated today for rescuing a baby from a smoldering car, according to the New York Daily News.
And he did it despite having lost both legs to an improvised explosive device in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.
Ferreira came across the accident in Queens, New York, Wednesday and heard a desperate mother cry, “My baby! My baby!”
The woman was trapped in the driver’s seat after hitting a median pole in Howard Beach. Ferreira immediately though of his own 11-month-old daughter.
On two prosthetic legs, he jumped out of the pickup truck he was driving and “sprinted into action with his brother and future father-in-law in tow,” the Daily News reported.
“With the Marines, you are taught to be prepared and act,” the former Marine told the Daily News. “Instinctively you just react, you don’t freeze, and thankfully we were able to make a difference.”
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As his fianceé’s dad and his brother focused on pulling the mother from the smoking car, Ferreira dove in to rescue the baby — after tearing off the headrest, he squeezed into the backseat and freed the baby from her car seat.
“I didn’t hear the baby crying, so I got kind of concerned,” Ferreira said. “Then I saw her open her eyes, and it kind of reassured me she was doing better.”
But it gets better.
In a previous interview with Homes for our Troops, Ferreira said he joined the Marines following the 9/11 terror attacks because it affected a lot of his friends. The organization built a specially adapted home for the vet.
Since his injury, Ferreira works to raise money for wounded veterans and children with amputations, according to the Daily Mail.
And after the heroic rescue, the Marine had a wedding to attend — his own.
He and his wife, Tiffany, were married in a small ceremony in 2014, but had planned a second wedding ceremony Friday.
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