BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Christian Cooper gave Theresa De Leon a nice big hug on the field. The two very excited to see each other.
“It’s great the see the person that saved your life,” said Cooper.
De Leon implied that the feeling was mutual when she was honored for her actions, and threw the first pitch at Wednesday night’s Birmingham Barons game.
“Overwhelming, happy, very grateful, he is a fighter,” De Leon said of Cooper.
On February 27, 2015, Cooper was involved in a car accident on I-65. His car was fully engulfed in flames. De Leon, a firefighter, was off-duty when she sprung into action to help pull Cooper from the wreckage.
“Thank God there were others there to help,” De Leon said. “Thank God I was there, and he is here and you are here,” said De Leon.
The Hoover High School graduate sustained serious burns to his body. Since the crash, he’s gone through surgeries and several months of rehab.
Cooper says it’s been a lot of hard work, but believes he could not have done without help.
“The outpouring and support all over the world, literally people from Canada, people from Brazil, it’s just been unreal,” Cooper said. “[I’m] still trying to wrap my head around it all.”