HOUSTON (KTRK) --Rick Bates lay in a hospital bed for months. He couldn't feed himself. He couldn't roll over without his wife's help.
Rick's heart was failing. Dr. Biswajit Kar, medical division chief at the Center for Advanced Heart Failure at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Texas Medical Center and UTHealth, said he needed a new heart to live. Rick wasn't used to asking for help, as a law enforcement officer he didn't depend on others. His wife Mary slept by his side and stayed by his side for four months.
Then a new heart arrived on Father's Day. Another father in Arlington died suddenly from a brain aneurism. This was Rick's chance to survive.
Rick recovered and is back in uniform at the job he loves, with the Harris County Constable's Office in Precinct One. Rick told his boss he would retire before the surgery, but they saved his job for him.
And, this second chance at life also saved his marriage. Before the health scare, the couple says they were headed down the path to divorce, but after going through everything together, they both had a change of heart.