Follow-Up Friday: Back in uniform after being a trauma patient

By Jade Waddy

Officer Nestor Garcia’s dream of being a police officer was tragically put on hold when he was struck by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed during a routine traffic stop in 2017.

Garcia underwent lifesaving surgery at the Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where they repaired multiple injuries he sustained in the accident. Once discharged from the hospital, Garcia was transferred to TIRR Memorial Hermann for inpatient rehabilitation where he worked with physical and occupational therapists to regain movement and strength.

Nearly two years later, Garcia has returned to his dream job of being police officer.

“I was out of work for a little over a year, so I’ve really been working to get back into the groove of things and I’ve spent a lot of time very focused on getting back to doing what I love,” Garcia said. 

While Garcia’s experience going from a first responder to a trauma patient was trying, he now feels as if he has a second chance to make an impact.

“My experience really motivates me to push even harder in my career,” Garcia added.

Due to the nature and extent of his injuries, Garcia still experiences some physical challenges but he has learned to adjust.

“One thing my therapists at TIRR Memorial Hermann, both inpatient and outpatient, really taught me was how to compensate for things I may struggle with,” Garcia said.

His advice to anyone experiencing life-changing injuries is to never give up because there is a finish line.

“My entire family and I really want to thank my doctors at Memorial Hermann and my doctors and therapists at TIRR Memorial Hermann,” Garcia said. “We’ve said it many times but I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

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