Waxahachie teacher reunites with doctors who saved his life

DALLAS - A father who nearly died in a motorcycle crash more than three years ago was reunited with the doctors who saved his life.

It is a kind of reunion that no one ever wanted to plan.

"To tell them thank you again and look what you did, I got to meet my daughter. I did not pass away in the hospital," said Robert Rodriguez.

The reunion between a trauma patient and doctor.

"We meet the patient on the absolute worst day of their life, and often times they don't get to meet us until they wake up, sometimes months later," said Dr. Michael Foreman.

For Rodriguez, the worst day was Oct. 1, 2020 when the Waxahachie High School biology teacher was returning to work on his motorcycle.

"After I turned and saw the semi-truck coming for me. I just remember putting my hand up and falling to the ground. I was awake the whole time. I felt every bump," he recalled. "EMTs came up saying Mr. Rodriguez we're going to put you on this thing, and I black out."

His wife Ashley was two months pregnant.

"I remember praying over him, and saying, God you can't do this. You can't have me pregnant with our third kid and take him," she said.

Dr. Foreman, the trauma medical director at Baylor Scott & White, credits Ashley Rodriguez with her husband's recovery from catastrophic injuries to his midsection.

His hip bone was sheared from his spine and his leg had to be amputated.

"His wife is tough. She was there for the whole thing and just not giving up. I think having that family behind him that was there for him," said Dr. Foreman.

Seven months after the crash, both Robert and Ashley Rodriguez were determined that they be together for the birth of their daughter, Ali, who is now three years old.

"At the time they didn't want to move me because my body was just so beat up," remembered Rodriguez. "They laid you on my stomach on a gurney, roll you down to delivery room and they did that. "

"This little girl's hand, my finger was the first thing she grabbed. I took that picture. She did that. This was the first hand she grabbed when she was born. Thank God and thank this hospital that I was able to be there, and have her do this for me," he continued.

Robert remained in the hospital for about five more months.

"Something someone told me during that was that everyone goes through winters. You are in deep, dark winter, but spring always comes. So just know, take your step forward, trust God and know that this hard time will not be forever," said Ashley.

Rodriguez is going to have surgery next week that will hopefully reduce his pain and potentially allow him to have a prosthetic leg.

As someone who taught biology, he is now working to raise money for scholarships to help kids be able to become doctors.