After a devastating accident, Terry McCarty became a 6-year-old burn victim. He shocked everyone with his honorable career choice.
Originally from Nevada, McCarty was a happy, normal child. The fire changed everything. The boy and his brothers, playing at home, filled a bowl with kerosene. After it accidentally tipped over, the kerosene ignited McCarty in flames.
Tragically, McCarty lost parts of his fingers and thumbs, forcing him to relearn even the most simple motor functions. Immediately after the accident, doctors made the decision to place McCarty into a medically induced coma for two months.
He vividly remembers the intense and excruciating moments of consciousness. As a young child, the six-year-old was positive he would live the rest of his life in pain.
“After the accident I lived in a constant state of fear,” the adult explained. “…fire robbed me of my childhood.”
An astonishing 58 operations later, the young boy went back to school with third degree burns engulfing 70% of his body. Needless to say, McCarty became the victim of severe bullying.
“Scarface” and “Freddy Kruger” are the nicknames that still stick with him today. Already on the path to his future, McCarty refused to let the negative comments dampen his spirits.
Now an adult, McCarty found it hard to even be considered for a job. Being labeled a “liability,” by possible employers, the burn victim reached his limit. He decided to switch career paths entirely and face the element that changed his life forever.
In 2012, McCarty submitted an application to the Washington Fire Service. The young man was almost instantly accepted. Shortly after, he attended his first training class.
The ‘live fire’ exercise he recalled as the most challenging. The new recruit was expected to extinguish raging flames created using propane fuel. Immediately, McCarty reverted back to his 6-year-old self.
“I couldn’t move…when I saw those flames shooting out of the ceiling,” he explained.
McCarty was confronted with the choice to ‘sink or swim.’ The young man refused to let fire destroy his life a second time and successfully passed the challenging exam. The former burn victim received his certification as an official firefighter.
Following two years on the Washington Firefighter force, McCarty answered a calling to work elsewhere. His heart was needed at the Burned Children Recovery Foundation.
The young man found his passion in life as a role model for child burn victims. The firefighter wanted to ensure young kids saw the ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’Share on Facebook
Today, Mr. McCarty has future plans to expand his philanthropy. Organizing fundraisers and creating special opportunities for other burn victims was just the beginning.
“To support people who suffered like I did will make it all worthwhile,” McCarthy says.
Source: Daily Mail