Dallas police officer honors those who helped save his life

A Dallas police officer thanked those who helped save his life when he had a sudden stroke driving on the freeway.

Senior Corporal Jaime Castro says their quick thinking means he's still around to help his brother, who's fighting an aggressive form of cancer.

Castro will soon be back on the job after a near-death experience, and even doctors are calling his recovery miraculous.

”I normally write down what I'm going to say, but today, I decided not to because today I wanted to speak from the heart,” Castro said.

He offered heartfelt thanks at a ceremony honoring the law enforcement officers and medical professionals who saved his life.

“Blessing from God that everybody was there at the right place at the right time, that everybody who was there had the proper training,” he said.

Everyone had smiles on at Wednesday’s ceremony because they know the happy outcome.

But the night of Feb. 8 could have ended tragically for the 45-year-old, who was on his way to an off-duty job going northbound on I-30 near downtown, when suddenly, he had a medical emergency.

“I was seeing two of everything,” Castro said. “I knew something was wrong, but it never, never, never crossed my mind that I was having a stroke.”

Castro quickly exited the highway, and as luck would have it, Navarro County deputy constable Erik Heilmann was parked nearby on an off-duty job doing traffic control.

“He just said, ‘I'm feeling so bad. Something is wrong. I'm feeling so bad.’ So I put him in my truck and called 911,” Heilmann said.

Dallas Fire-Rescue crews rushed Castro to Parkland Hospital, where doctors and nurses quickly went to work by administering blood clot busting meds.

“It brought tears to my eyes when I saw him start to move and start to talk,” said Dr. Fernando Benitez.

“It's a very emotional day. I'm very grateful for the support that he had and they were there for him,” said Aurora Martinez, Castro's mother.

Castro says his priority is to be here for his family.

Last April, FOX 4 covered Castro -- a Dallas Cowboys super fan -- and his brother Ezra -- a Buffalo Bills super fan – after they won tickets to the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium.

Ezra continues to battle an aggressive form of cancer, and Castro is able to be by his side because others stepped in.

“My family needs me there. I need to be there. I want to be there,” Castro said. “And to know that because of them, I'm not having to take time away from my family, means the world to me.”

Castro spent a week in the hospital after his stroke, which doctors are calling “unexplained”

He'll return to work Friday, Feb. 22.