DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Dallas firefighter injured in the line of duty back in May is finally going home, after a slow and painful recovery.
Family and friends of Jeff Patterson gathered at UT Southwestern Hospital on Friday to celebrate his last day there.
Patterson was burned while fighting a Dallas house fire in May. He spent nearly five months in the hospital and underwent 12 surgeries before being released.
A fire engine was waiting to chauffeur Patterson and his family home when he walked out of the hospital.
As he headed home, his family and friends also had a few surprises planned for him.
First, the fire engine drove by his 3-year-old daughter’s day care. Then it stopped by his 6-year-old son’s school, where all the children waved at him as passed by.
Once Patterson arrived home, neighbors lined the streets with signs, flags and balloons to welcome him back.
“Thank you everyone who has been praying for me while I’ve been in there. It’s been awesome and I appreciate it and I’m glad to be home,” said Patterson as he stood in front of his home for the first time in months. “I’m just happy to be alive and happy to be home.”
For his family, it’s also a sweet homecoming.
“I’m overwhelmed, overjoyed,” said wife, Tina Patterson. “It’s a gift. It’s a gift at a second chance.” said his wife, Tina Patterson.
Before Patterson can return to work, he says he must go through extensive rehabilitation.
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