HOUSTON – One Houston police officer got the ultimate football surprise, because of the extraordinary efforts he took to save people's lives during Hurricane Harvey despite having his own ongoing health issue
"I'm so honored. I'm so grateful," said Norbert Ramon, a 24-year veteran of the Houston Police Department.
He is honored because, on Monday, he was surprised by his colleagues, the Texans and Papa John's Pizza for his outstanding work during Hurricane Harvey.
During the storm, the route to Ramon's police station was flooded but instead of going back home, he reported to the patrol site near Lake Houston.
"I've never seen so much water before in my life," Ramon said. "I could have stayed there and answered phones, but I wanted to go there and work."
He wanted to work, even though he was dealing with health issue.
"I have stage 4 colon cancer, and I've been dealing with that since March of 2016," said Ramon.
It was a routine check that turned into a life-altering moment. Doctors, then, said the cancer had spread to his lungs and liver. They told him he had only five to six years to live. He and his family were devastated.
The week of Harvey, Ramon missed his chemo because his platelets were low. He still worked, however he knew thousands of lives could be saved.
"There were other citizens there, but they didn't have the boats that we did," Ramon said.
Working 12 hour shifts for multiple days, he helped hundreds of people get onto those boats. To this day, he doesn't remember his struggle -- he remembers the faces of the people he helped. He remembers their fighting spirit. On Monday, people remembered his.
The Texans surprised him with a Texans jersey. Defensive end, JJ Watt made him a video.
Papa John's Pizza surprised Ramon at the Houston Police Officer's Union with two tickets to the 2018 Super Bow in Minneapolis this weekend to see the Patriots and the Eagles.
"They pulls out tickets to the Superbowl, and I was just, 'Wow!' -- just totally shocked," said Ramon.
Ramon, who never asks for anything, said these gestures meant everything.
"I really thank (Papa John's Pizza and the Texans) for recognizing officers like that. I'm so grateful. It really brings up my spirits with what I'm going though. I just had a procedure done, so I'm hoping for the best," Ramon said.
Ramon said he and his wife are excited for the trip. He will be wearing Texans gear to the game.