MIAMI – Monday marked a major milestone for a Miami-Dade police major who was seriously injured last year in a motorcycle crash.
Maj. Ricky Carter returned to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he was originally treated, exactly one year after his accident.
Despite all the hardships he’s gone through after losing his legs, Carter is feeling grateful.
That's why he returned to the hospital to thank the doctors and good Samaritans who saved his life.
Carter kept a positive spirit at the hospital Monday.
"By the grace of God and by the expert care that I received here at Miami Jackson, and from fire rescue and from all the partners who worked with me to get me back to health, I'm alive today," he said.
Authorities said Carter was on his way to a police charity event May 7, 2017, when he crashed his motorcycle into a guardrail on Interstate 75 near Miami Lakes.
Good Samaritans stopped to help, including one who used a belt as a makeshift tourniquet.
"I just started asking him questions about his family, just to kind of distract him, and I asked him if he was married," Vianca Diaz said. "He said, 'Yes.' I asked him, 'For how long?' And he said, 'Too long.' And that's when I knew everything was going to be fine."
Carter said he doesn't remember why he lost control of his motorcycle.
He was left with broken arms, broken hands and a collapsed lung. Doctors also had to amputate his legs.
Three months later, he was able to return to his full duties at work.
He walked on prosthetic legs for the first time last week at his daughter's college graduation.
"It's been really a wonderful thing to see how well he's done," JMH trauma surgeon Dr. Rishi Rattan said.
"You're my inspiration. You're an inspiration for everybody," good Samaritan Roberto Lanzetti said.
Carter said he's still reaching for new goals and wants to one day be able to run again.