A Houston police officer shot in the line of duty is determined to walk again, but his doctors say it won't be possible without a form of stem cell therapy.
In late February, Ronny Cortez, a 25 year veteran of the Houston Police Department, was chasing a burglary suspect through his own neighborhood when that suspect shot him.
"Our lives changed in a second," said Sheri Cortez, Ronny's wife. "One minute we're standing there talking about our afternoon, what our plans were going to be for that day and literally five shots later, our lives are turned upside down."
Cortez was shot in the neck, back and buttock.
"We were fortunate enough that his spine wasn't fully severed," she said. "If it had been fully severed, we'd be done, there would be no discussion of stem cell treatment at all."
Months of rehab followed. Finally in September, doctors took the bullet out of Cortez' back.
"The doctor told us 'Look, we got it out just in time it was corroding in there,'" Sheri said. "He said there was green matter all around the bullet and it was starting to break down in his spine."
For the Cortez', costly stem cell treatment might be the only way Ronny gets up from his chair.
"I'm not going to quit," Ronny said. "I'm going to keep on going whether it be stem cell. Whether it be daily prayer, whether it just be doing the therapy."
Sheri said they've been relying on the support of the community.
"We don't want to be satisfied with just what we have right here," Sheri said. "We want him walking again--he deserves to walk again. He fought so hard for this city."
Ronny said he wants to out working with his colleagues right now.
"I was shut in at the hospital during Harvey and that was the hardest part watching my co-workers out there where I'm supposed to be," he said.
The family set up a GoFundMe page for the officer, if you would like to donate, click here.
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