Matias Ferreira, who lost both legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, risked his health and safety to save a baby from a smoking car in Queens, New York.
“My baby! My baby!,” the desperate driver cried after her car plowed into a median pole.
Ferreira leaped out of his pickup truck and sprinted on his two prosthetic legs into action with his brother and father-in-law in tow.
“With the Marines, you are taught to be prepared and act,” Ferreira, who was leaving his wedding rehearsawhen he heard the crash behind him, told NY Daily News.
“We didn’t know if the car was on fire or anything else,” Ferreira said. “We knew we had to get them to safety.”
Ferreira said he was concerned at first because the baby was not crying. “Then I saw her open her eyes, and it kind of reassured me she was doing better.”
Ferreira and his brother stayed with the family until firefighters and paramedics arrived.
An FDNY spokesman said the infant was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition after the 8:30 p.m. crash.
Ferreira added that he hopes the rescue experience shows the promise of people with disabilities.
“The prostheses were the last thing on my mind,” Ferreira said of the rescue.
“It doesn’t have to be a Marine. It doesn’t have to be a firefighter. It just has to be someone with a good heart.”