Nearly one year after losing his legs in a car crash, Javier Perez finds out he will be able to hit the road as a driver once again.
The South Dade Senior High School principal was surprised Thursday with a new Toyota minivan thanks to a South Florida car dealership and the Auto Firm.
“It's something that we take for granted. But when they take it from us, we miss it so much, and now I'm going to have that freedom again,” said Perez.
The principal has gone from tragedy to triumph in the past year. Back in April, he was coaching his son's little league baseball game when an alleged drunk driver came barreling onto the field. He was pinned under the car. Perez was hospitalized and in a coma for a month. Doctors had to amputate both of his legs.
But his fight, his grit and persistence pushed him through. And, things are even better with a new car.
“It's the next step to my freedom, being able to drive, and basically that's what I thought was going to happen, it's just incredible,” said Perez.
The Auto Firm will make the new minivan more handicap accessible. They said Perez will be ready to drive it as early as next week.
Since the tragedy, Perez and his family have been getting an outpouring of support from the community.