Told he would never work again, he credits his faith, co-workers and family for giving him the courage to fight back after being shot 14 times outside his College Park, Georgia home in December 2014.
Today, College Park firefighter and medic Eddie Baker is back on the job after two years of demanding, physical rehab.
Fox 5 Atlanta reports that despite being told over-and-over again he would never work again … Baker is beating the odds.
“Getting back to this point is almost unheard of, and I wish I could think of the words to express how happy I am,” Baker told Fox 5.
Just two years ago, Baker thought he was going to die. He was shot numerous times by Taylor Carthern, who is now serving a 20-year sentence.
Baker said the bullets hit him in the chest, spine and arm and he suffered a broken femur, shoulder, jaw, and seven broken fingers along with tendon damage resulting in 10 surgeries. Doctors told Baker he would not be able to return to work.
He had it in his mind that he was going to make it back to the firehouse, but doctors told it wasn’t possible. Baker wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“I would always ask is there’s 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,” the 11-year veteran said.
There are many in Baker’s life who worked tirelessly to lift him up and encourage him to work toward his dream, but there’s one person he feels deserves a little more credit than the others … his 11-year old daughter.
“She always thought that I was going to be able to come back and she would tell me everyday, ‘you know I’m sick of you sitting around here, its time to get up and do your exercises,’” said Baker.
Enduring two years of surgeries and rehab illustrates Baker’s dedication not only to himself, but to the profession he hold so dear. That determination is not lost on his fellow firefighters and friends.
“He is the crazy one of the crew, once he got back he just stepped right back into that role,” said fellow firefighter and longtime friend, Orlando Gray.
As much as Baker vowed to fight on, the community and department vowed to stand hand-in-hand during his battle. During his journey toward recovery Baker never missed a paycheck thanks to the support from the city.
“Everyone donated probably over two years of vacation time to him, so he did not miss a check while he was out,” said College Park Fire Chief Wade Elmore. “He is a model employee, so I would say he means a whole lot to us.”
Being a firefighter is more than a job to Baker, he tells Fox 5 it’s something he dreamed of doing every since he was a little boy, and he’s thrilled for the support he and his family received.
“Everything we do around here is with love, especially for each other and the camaraderie is amazing,” said Baker.
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