A South Florida principal who continues his road to recovery from a horrible accident involving a drunk driver will take to the diamond Friday at Marlins Park.
Javier Perez, who lost both his legs when he was struck by a car while coaching his son’s Little League baseball game, will throw out the first pitch before the Miami Marlins’ game against the Atlanta Braves.
"It's humbling, it's amazing," Perez said.
The South Dade High School principal and die hard Marlins fan was even on the jumbotron and greeted by the deafening roars of his fans supporting him with the hashtag Javi strong.
"To go from that day when it was touch and go to all the way to seeing him out on the field throwing the first pitch with his family is remarkable," said John Galaradi, colleague.
Life drastically changed for Perez back in April. He was coaching his son's little league baseball game when an alleged drunk driver came barreling onto the field- leaving him in a coma for a month and with both legs amputated. Being on the mound Friday brought some closure.
"Extremely emotional, you know my accident happened last time I was out it was on a baseball field," Perez said. "I was watching my son play little league. That's where the accident took place so we felt it was fitting that my first outing out to the community and being out for the first time would be at a baseball stadium."
Perez's wife said for her it was like a full circle.
"We finally have closure to the bad stuff and a new beginning," she said.
The driver, Marilyn Aguilera, has been charged in the crash, but Perez is looking forward. A portion of the game's ticket sales will go to an organization to help with medical bills and purchasing prosthetic legs. He also had a message to his beloved school.
"Every day I get better so I'll be back soon," Perez said. "Give me a little time but I will be walking back into the school."
Perez hopes his story will inspire others going through similar situations. For a link to his Javi Strong charity you can visit their GoFundMe.