It was a welcome better than any fireman's parade for Dallas Fire-Rescue officer Clarence Briggs, who made his triumphant return to the force just months after a stroke nearly took him out of the lifesaving game. Briggs, dressed in uniform, was surprised by a corridor of cheering colleagues, confetti, and heartfelt posters, a celebration befitting a man whose life hung in the balance not long ago, as reported by The Dallas Morning News.
"This is amazing," Briggs expressed, struggling to maintain composure amidst a show of support that caught him off guard on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday. The hero had weathered the subtle yet unforgiving symptoms of numbness and confusion typical of a stroke, which often go unnoticed until it's nearly too late. Briggs credited his partner, officer Gisell Delgado, for her quick thinking that fateful day in July. "Life kind of just happened, and she was there," he reflected, per The Dallas Morning News.
The close-knit camaraderie of the fire service shone through as the brigade rallied around one of their own: Briggs, who was not just an officer out of commission; he was family fighting back from the brink. His road to recovery was paved with challenges, as simple as relearning to taste beyond a constant onslaught of saltiness and as rigorous as adhering to exercises reminiscent of his days in the Navy, but throughout it all, his wife Shinita and daughter Kalani stood by him as unwavering pillars of strength. "Whenever I think…when I think of Officer Delgado and [my wife]. Over 40 years ago, we said 'I do,' it said in sickness and in health, and she’s lived up to that and beyond,” Briggs said, as per FOX 4 News.