St. Petersburg, Florida -- With tears in his eyes, standing with his walker in tow, 75-year-old Eugene Stenov finally got to meet one of the people responsible for saving his life.
"I can't thank you enough!" he tells them.
This reunion between Eugene and Lieutenant Steve Larson of St. Pete Fire Rescue is 3 1/2 months in the making. On Jan. 23 at 1:30 in the afternoon was a moment Eugene will never forget.
"I remember it like it was yesterday," he says.
Eugene was walking through the parking lot of the Publix on 54th Avenue South when he was run over by an SUV. It was the firefighters from Station 11, along with good Samaritans, who rushed to lift the vehicle and save his life.
"I couldn't get out of bed by myself," he recalls.
Three thousand pounds of metal crushed his ribs, shattered a shoulder, and broke a leg. Eugene was in bad shape.
Denis Holland, one of Eugene's physical therapists from the Gulfport Rehab Center, watched Eugene's spirit lift him from a broken back to his old self.
"It was a lot of work. Sometimes tears, but the first time we saw him take a step, ti was all very moving for all of us!"
Today, with his trusty therapy dog Barkley at his side, Eugene finally gets to go home and has a new outlook on the future.
"I got a second change at life -- a new life you take as a gift."