DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Against all odds, a Denton firefighter whose left leg had to be amputated last fall is back on duty.
Not only did Gary Weiland have to learn to walk again with a prosthesis, he also had to train for months to get back to the job he loves.READ MORE: Fort Worth Mayoral Candidates Discuss Issues At Forum Days Before Early Voting Begins
“This was my ultimate goal, getting back to work full-duty,” Weiland said.
“Waking up in a hospital bed, the doctor saying we’re going to have to amputate your leg, which is pretty unbelievable considering I was just running around on the football field, throwing a ball with the kids, and having a great time,” he said. “So it was tough to swallow.”
But Weiland stayed focus on his goal.
“Gary, two days post-op of removing his leg, was already telling anyone who would visit him that he would make it back to full-duty, full-shift work, quicker than any person out there,” said Chief Kenneth Hedges with the Denton Fire Department.READ MORE: Men Found Dead In Abandoned School In Parker County Sunday Identified
Doctors told Weiland it would take a year or two before he’d get back to active duty.
He did it in 10 months.
“We all have obstacles, we all have adversity – everyone,” Weiland said. “And how you respond to that adversity is what determines your character.”
He hopes his story inspires others who are going through hard times.
“I’m a firefighter and I have a prosthetic leg, so if I can do that, the world is your oyster,” he said.
Now that Weiland is back at work, he’s set his sights on a new goal.MORE NEWS: Irving's MacArthur High School Went On Lockdown Due To 'Possible Threat Of Student With Gun'
He recently made Team USA’s High Performance Sitting Volleyball Team and hopes to go to Tokyo next year for the Paralympics.