As a young boy, Manuel Salazar attended a school with a predominantly white student population. Manuel’s kind heart and can-do attitude earned him many friends despite his cultural differences. He worked hard and excelled in his academics. The only son, Manuel was brother to three sisters and they lived together with their mother and step-dad. Manuel often watched his step-dad work in the garage and took an interest in cars and mechanics.
At the end of high school, Manuel took a summer job working for a local rock quarry. That job led to a full time career in the rock quarry. Manuel earned a satisfying income, bought a nice truck, found a little house, and even got married. Manuel’s “American Dream” was short lived. A few weeks after he and his family moved into a new home, Manuel was electrocuted by 115,000 volts of electricity that arced from a construction crane. He was struck twice before the power failed. Manuel laid alone, lifeless, and burning for eight minutes before emergency crews could safely reach him.
Several weeks later, Manuel awoke from a medically induced coma. His body was burned and scarred. Both his arms and both his legs had to be amputated to save his life. How Manuel has recovered, what he has achieved, and the things he still intends to accomplish have shocked medical professionals, inspired fellow amputees, and captivated the hearts of each and every person that comes into contact with Manuel.
This young man has overcome insurmountable physical, emotional, and spiritual trials and has become an inspiration to not only amputees, but to all humanity.