When Norbert Ramon, a 24-year veteran of the Houston police force, was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, it didn't stop him from stepping up to help the people of his community when they needed it the most.
The 55-year-old police officer who is suffering from colon cancer that has spread to his liver and lungs, was diagnosed 18 month ago during a routine colonoscopy. At the time, his doctors said he may have 6-8 years to live.
In spite of his terminal diagnosis, he played a key role in rescuing residents after Hurricane Harvey as part of the Houston Police Department's Traffic Enforcement division.
In the aftermath of the storm, Ramon, who joined the Lake Patrol, helped to rescue 1,500 residents in the city.
Originally assigned to the Traffic Enforcement division downtown, he was unable to get there when the flash floods began last Sunday morning. So instead he reported to the closest duty station, which was HPD's Lake Patrol Unit.
Between Sunday and Tuesday, the team used four police boats to move more than 1,500 Houston resident out of the flash floods neighborhoods that were submerged.
“They’d have the kids in blankets and stuff. I’m picking them up and putting them in the boat, trying to put their umbrellas on,” Ramon explained. “Then my partner is trying to drive the boat. He’s got all these umbrellas [blocking his field of view on the water]. We’ve got to tell them ‘Hey you gotta close those down. You’re going to get wet. The kids are going to get wet but he needs to see.’”
Rescuing people didn't only help the residents of the community, it had a profound impact on him as well.