Jesse Cortez Jr., of Port Lavaca, wanted to thank two Texas Game Wardens in some way for saving his life two years ago.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens Ben and Chelsea Bailey received a plaque last Monday from Cortez, who saved his life as he was showing signs of a heat stroke in August 2017.
Cortez talked about the events of Aug. 16 and said he was weed-eating at his former landlord’s house between noon and 3 p.m. at Farm to Market Road 1090 near the gun range.
Cortez said he didn’t know he was displaying symptoms of heatstroke. He added that he knew he was overheated and sweating and had taken four to five breaks.
Cortez stated he needed 10 to 15 minutes to finish weeding around one of the trailer houses, and he added he sat down and noticed something in the water.
“I noticed something orange in the water. I thought it was canoe or kayak with a person trying to get on the left-hand side,” Cortez said.
Cortez called 911 about what he saw in the water and told the dispatcher to send a deputy.
Ben Bailey and Chelsea Bailey were dispatched to the location and checked it out with their binoculars. Chelsea Bailey said the object seen in the water was a buoy.
Bailey said as she and her husband were talking to Cortez at the scene, they noticed he was pale, and the color of his face was fading.
Bailey added Cortez wasn’t talking too much, and he was looking out in the distance.
“He did have some water in one of those Sunny Delight jugs, but it was hot, and it wasn’t cool or anything like that,” Bailey said.
Bailey added that the next thing they knew, Cortez was sitting and passed out.
Cortez spoke about the moment he passed out. He said he sat on a bucket in the back of his truck, and a few seconds later, he blacked out. He added he didn’t know he blacked out.
A camera for the show Lone Star Law recorded Cortez’s heatstroke, and Cortez brought footage of the episode showing Ben Bailey carrying him to Bailey’s truck.
He said he was out of it, and his eyes were rolled back as he was in the truck.
Cortez praised Ben and Chelsea Bailey for noticing the signs of heatstroke and acting on them, such as approaching him and asking him what was going on.
Bailey said while Cortez was in the truck, there was a moment when he woke up, grabbed the steering wheel, and was about to drive off.
“He came back to, didn’t know anything, and didn’t know where he was, or why we were there, and, luckily, EMS was right there at the time,” Bailey said.
Chelsea and Ben Bailey contacted Cortez again to check on his status. She said he spent a week in the intensive care unit.
“They told him they were glad that we were there when it happened because it could have been bad for him,” Bailey said.
Cortez said he wouldn’t be here but for them, and he added he asked God to bless them for doing a great job.
Last Monday, Chelsea Bailey and Ben Bailey stopped by the Port Lavaca Wave to received the plaque made by Cortez, with all three of them from that Lone Star Law episode.