For the first time since her rollover accident last month on Farm-to-Market 1554, Rosie Cortez and her family met with Ruben Carpentier, the good Samaritan who helped save her life, at a replacement blood drive held in her honor Monday afternoon at Horseshoe Western Wear in Alice.
Cortez lost her left arm during the rollover accident on FM 1554 near FM 625 on Nov. 19. She said she was heading to a friend's house before taking her children to their tumbling and football practices.
"A normal routine for us," Cortez said.
Cortez said she over-corrected her turn while trying to avoid a reflector pole, rolling her vehicle and breaking the window on the driver's side.
"When the glass broke, I knew that I had severed my arm," she said. "There was just blood
Cortez said she tried to remain calm following the accident, and told her 9-year-old son Sebastian, who was in the front passenger side, to check and make sure his siblings were okay.
"They were in their car seats in the back," she said. "I told him to make sure the kids were fine and then get help. I knew that I was bleeding profusely and needed
Carpentier said he was not even supposed to be on the road that evening, but had been sent by his wife to pick up some milk.
"I was on my way home when she called, so I made a u-turn," he said. "About two or three minutes later, she called back and said she didn't need the milk, so I turned back around. I went about a quarter mile and I looked to my right and saw the car flip on its
Carpentier said he saw the accident and immediately stopped to render aid. Using Sebastian's shirt and an iPhone cord he had in his pocket, Carpentier made a tourniquet on her arm to stop the bleeding.
"She said, 'Just do what you need to do,'" he said. "So I reached in my pocket and I had one of those iPhone cords, tied it around her arm and just squeezed the heck out of
Carpentier said if he had been just five seconds earlier, he would have missed the accident.
"He was out there at the right moment and the right time," Cortez said. "With it being a county road, who knows how long before I would have gotten
Cortez was transported to CHRISTUS Spohn Memorial in Corpus Christi via HALO-Flight for medical attention. Carpentier said he left shortly after she was transported, but his emotions didn't hit him until later that night.
"I started crying like a little baby," he said. "I was just bawling. It was so fast. The DPS officer told me that I saved her life, but it hadn't processed in my mind at that time. He said if it had been just another 30 seconds, she would have
Carpentier said he said stayed in contact with Cortez and her family through Facebook, but wanted to give her time before meeting her again face-to-face.
"I stayed in contact, so I knew she was doing all right," he said. "I was so happy when I saw her
Cortez said she is still recovering, but has begun to get back to her regular routine.
"This is actually my second outing," she said. "I haven't really been out much. The cold weather has really taken a toll on my