Just a short year ago, this man was an op en wakker cop, living a “reckless life, smoking and drinking”.
But then Gavilan Green’s life changed dramatically when his right foot was ripped off during a car crash.
Ironically, the 29-year-old says losing his foot has been the biggest blessing in his life.
The Southern Cape cop says God has brought him to his knees, and he was forced to crawl before he could learn to walk again.
Today Gavilan can walk, run, and even dance again, thanks to his prosthetic right leg.
The constable is also back at work at Groot Brak Police Station, fighting crime and inspiring the public.
On that fateful night on June 7, 2015, Gavilan had been a passenger while his friend drove them to Riversdale.
But he lost control of the car, and it rolled several times before it came to a halt against a barrier along the R305 on the Stilbaai road.
Gavilan says he didn’t even realise his foot had been ripped off during the crash.
He crawled out of the driver’s window while his friend was trapped inside the vehicle.
Gavilan was rushed to hospital where doctors told them they had to amputate his leg just under his knee.
“That was the first time I heard the word amputation,” he says, his eyes full of pain as he remembers.
“I was in a state at first, to the point where I couldn’t bare to look at my foot.”
Over the next few months, he realised he was being given a second chance in life.
Gavilan underwent rehabilitation in Port Elizabeth and it took him two days of learning to walk on his new leg.
“Before the accident, I was deeply depressed,” he says.
“When I was going through the recovery stage, it gave me a lot of time to think of my life, the decisions I made.
“I was reborn. In the beginning, I literally had to crawl to do things. It wasn’t easy, but I just knew I could not give up.”
Gavilan says he wants to inspire others before its too late for them to change: “I want to say to people, don’t wait for something to happen.”