CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Years later, the friendship between two first responders has remained as strong as ever after almost 22 years.
When Mary Spicak spotted Nueces County Sheriff's Deputy David Garcia, she instantly knew who he was.
"He says I know you! I'm like, I know you too! You are my miracle and he says you are my angel," Spicak said.
Spicak is the Clinical Director of the Dr. Hector P Garcia Memorial Family Health Center and has also worked as a trauma nurse for 17 years.
In fact, it was a night in the emergency room when the two would first be brought together.
"Of course I recognized her in a heartbeat! How could I forget. You were one of the ones who saved my life," Garcia said.
It was back on February 11 in 2001, when Garcia responded to a call at a convivence store in Bishop, Texas.
"I was working patrol and received a call about a young man in front of a store in Bishop and he was stranded and needed help," said Garcia.
Within minutes after arriving that young man opened fire shooting the deputy 5 times.
"Point blank range. He hit me all five times," said Garcia.
Garcia returned fire. The suspect was killed and the deputy was then rushed to the old Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital where doctors worked quickly to save his life.
"Mary was one of the faces in the front, I remember because I hadn't lost consciousness," said Garcia.
Almost 22 years later, when Spicak ran into Garcia, or her "trauma miracle" as she calls him, he greets her the same way.
"I will never forget you," Garcia said.
Spicak said that comments like that are "her reward," and "as nurses, that's our reward. We contributed to somebody getting better, not only better but going back to their normal self."
Spicak is just as happy to see Garcia.
"I never thought he would go back as a deputy," Spicak said. "Never thought he would go back to work again when I saw him I was like 'oh my god, happy."
When on duty, residents can find Garcia watching over the Nueces County Courthouse. He said that despite all the years that have passed his bond with Spicak is one he will cherish for many more years to come.
"Like if I had seen an old high school friend we were best buddies, I gave her a hug and she gave me a hug," Garcia said.
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