Mind Over Matter: Veteran LAPD Officer Returns to Duty Following Amputation

A 12-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department who suffered the traumatic effects of an amputation is back on duty following an onerous recovery.

Upon his discovery of a huge, tumor-like mass on the bottom of his left foot, officer Marcial Cruz, 38, paid a visit to the doctor, who broke the grim news that he had a very aggressive cancer and had to have his left foot amputated, according to CBS Los Angeles.

"I get this terrible call from the doctor telling me, 'You know what, I have some really bad news for you: you have cancer. It's very aggressive and I have to amputate your foot," Cruz said.

The amputation took place in January of this year. But Cruz was not going to allow this hurdle to stand in the way of his returning to the LAPD and being back in the field, where he said he belongs. "No. I'm going to do this. I'm going to get back out on patrol."

Following his amputation, Cruz set out on the physically painful six-month process of learning how to walk with a prosthetic foot. He started out walking two miles at a time and told CBS that he got into the best shape of his life in order to prove to himself and to the LAPD that he could, indeed, get back in the field.

But he didn't get the green light to return to duty until he received the blessings of the city doctor who put him "through a set of tests which included bending, kneeling, walking on tip toes, running — for sure a lot of running," Cruz said. 

Cruz reportedly was provided with a certificate showing that he had passed the LAPD's physical tests with flying colors, CBS notes. He was reinstated to full duty one month ago and has been a testament to the motto of "mind over matter."

"I think one of the biggest issues with any form of difficulty of this nature is the mental aspect. If I would have been doubtful, fearful of not achieving what I wanted, I think that would have had a significant impact on what I was going to accomplish," Cruz said. "As bad as the situation may be, there's hope. I'm here living the dream again."


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