No one wakes up thinking; Today is going to be the worst day of my life. For Houston police officer, Ronnie Cortez, February 28, 2017, may have been just that. While attempting to apprehend a robbery suspect, Cortez (pictured with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott) was shot several times in the torso, back and neck. One bullet severed his spine, leaving the devoted husband and father paralyzed from the waist down.

Doctors told Cortez he would never walk again. That simply wasn’t good enough for Cortez. For months he underwent physical therapy for three hours a day with the belief and determination to walk again.

worst day

Officer Ronnie Cortez in therapy. (Photo via Shawn Demaree, Operation: Hero Support Coordinator)

After suffering a stroke, Cortez has undergone multiple surgeries to improve his condition. On September 6th, surgery was performed to remove the bullet from his spine; he has begun to feel pain in his lower back and is able to wiggle his toes. His perseverance has paid off, but not without cost.

The financial strain this event has put on the Cortez family is monumental. The family of four is simply trying to stay afloat as Cortez attempts to regain some sense of a “normal” life. Physicians have offered Cortez the chance to receive stem cell treatment that may be his best chance to walk again unassisted.

Cortez is a 25-year veteran of the police force and has dedicated his life to protecting Houston. Now it is Houston’s turn to protect one of our own.

Officer Ronnie Cortez. (Photo via Shawn Demaree, Operation: Hero Support Coordinator)

A GoFundMe me page has been set up in Cortez’s honor to take some of the financial burden away and allow Cortez to receive stem cell treatments which will cost up to $45,000. A fundraiser has also been organized to take place February 11, 2018, at Bareback Bar and Icehouse in Spring, TX from 12pm-6pm. www.facebook.com/events/172447113358752/.

For more information or to donate please visit www.gofundme.com/operation-hero-support.

– Shawn Demaree, Operation: Hero Support Coordinator