Gary Cifuentes isn't quite ready to get back to work, but on Thursday he returned to the spot where he was almost killed after an SUV crashed into the restaurant where he worked, covering him with scalding hot grease and leaving him with burns over 60 percent of his body.
Cifuentes was working at the Church's Chicken in Olathe when the accident occurred about two-and-a-half months ago. On Thursday, the restaurant finally re-opened, and Cifuentes was there to support his co-workers, because he says that they were there for him.
Church's franchise owner Steve Branco says that before they opened the door for business on Thursday, everyone took a moment to remeber what happened to Cifuentes.
"We all joined in hand and said a prayer for our building and for Gary's recovery," said Branco.
Cifuentes is still recovering from the serious burns that stretch from his neck to the back of his legs, and hasn't gotten doctor's permission to return to work. Since the accident, he has endured skin grafts, surgeries and physical therapy, but Branco says that Cifuentes still wants to get back to work.
"He's a very positive person, very upbeat," said Branco.
Cifuentes says that he does remember the accident.
"But please don't make me remember that day," he said through a translator.
Cifuentes came to the U.S. from Guatamala three years ago to find work and a better life. He says that he thanks God for his life, his Church's family who sat by him at the hospital, and the community who raised almost $18,000 to help his recovery.
"He's very grateful and thankful for all the cards and letters to him and his family," said his translator.
Cifuentes uncle, Cesar Sagastune, says that he too is thankful to the community, and that his nephew is getting a little better every day.
"Thank you to God, because this is a miracle," said Sagastune.