FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS/WFOR) Michael Brewer blew out the candles on his birthday cake as a crowd cheered and the media crowded around the young man who had turned 16. The celebration came just one day before the one year anniversary of the day he nearly died.
"I think about it all of the time," Michael Brewer, Sr., the teen's dad, told CBS affiliate WFOR. "But I'm just glad he's still with me."
Brewer is lucky to be alive. Police say three teenagers threw alcohol on him and struck a match, engulfing Michael in flames.
He eventually extinguished the blaze on his body by jumping into a nearby pool. For months afterwords, his family crowded around him as doctors grafted skin to his young body and put him through intensive rehabilitation treatments.
Today, the scars are visible on his arms, but the majority of them are hidden under his clothing.
"I'm pretty good I feel wonderful, I have energy," Michael Brewer told CBS affiliate WFOR.
He said the pain is now gone and he is done with medication and therapy sessions.
Now, like most teenage boys, he's itching to start driving and looking forward to one day attending college. Ultimately, he said he wants to become an FBI agent. His parents looked on at times with tears in their eyes, thinking about the son they almost lost.
"I'm just amazed at the strength from him that he's had. I'm grateful," Brewer's dad told reporters.
It is a strength that the Brewer family said comes in part because of the community's support.
Michael told news network CNN that he is ready to see his alleged attackers again in court and is willing to testify.
"I think they're just jerks, and they got what they deserved," he told CNN.