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Local coach who lost limbs to flesh-eating bacteria still going strong

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Local coach who lost limbs to flesh-eating bacteria still going strong

By Jessica Janner. CREATED Feb 5, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- One year ago, we brought you the story of a local teacher and coach who survived a flesh-eating bacteria that left him in a wheelchair.

But, Eddie Garcia doesn't want anyone to feel sorry for him. In fact, he offered to make me coffee when I got to his home.

"Hopefully when my wife sees it, she doesn't start making me do this all the time," joked Eddie as he made my coffee. Eddie has no hands or feet.

He also showed us how he uses a fork and how he brushes his teeth.

Action News met Eddie one year ago when he was hospitalized with a flesh eating bacteria. Medicine used to keep him alive kept blood flowing to his core but not to his extremities. So, all his limbs had to be amputated.

"I always look at how bad it could have been," said Eddie, who is happy to be alive.

In less than one year's time, Eddie has done incredible things: He's made tremendous strides in rehab, he's working towards becoming a motivational speaker and this week he's a guest at a prosthetic convention.

If that's not impressive enough, Eddie was named 2013 Coach of the Year locally. He coaches his son's and daughter's basketball teams in Henderson.

He's not just on the sidelines, Eddie got a special medal for walking half of a half marathon. He actually participated in the Las Vegas Marathon on the Las Vegas Strip.

"I was the last one, obviously. But I mean, I finished," said Eddie about his incredible feat.

Eddie said sometimes when he closes his eyes he feels whole. As if his hands and feet were still a part of him. But, Eddie doesn't let the physical limitations get him down. He's not a quitter.

"This is what happened to me and yet I'm still going forward. So, keep doing what you're doing. Keep working hard. Great things will happen to you," said Eddie.

In turn, we hope great things happen for Eddie and his family.

It hasn't all been easy. It's a tough financial burden. Also, soon Eddie will lose his job with the school district (he was a dean at Canyon Springs High School) and take a medical retirement. His prosthetic legs don't allow him to stand for a full work day.

If you want to help out, he's got a foundation called Be Strong and Win.

Jessica Janner

Jessica Janner

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Watch Jessica Janner on Good Morning Las Vegas and Action News Midday every weekday.