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After fall from roof, Texas man gets a Christmas surprise

Rafael Martinez was worried he wouldn't be able to finish decorating for Christmas.

MIDLOTHIAN, Texas — After moving to Midlothian a few months ago, Rafael Martinez wanted to go all out for Christmas. But just as he started hanging his first light, things went dark.

“Randomly I woke up in a hospital,” he said. “That’s all I remember.”

Last weekend, from the top of his roof, Martinez had a seizure and fell to the ground nearly two stories below.

He was rushed to the hospital, fearing he’d suffered a traumatic brain injury.

“When you hear code three to Methodist Dallas, at that point you realize it’s something significant,” said Midlothian firefighter paramedic Shane Bailer.

Bailer didn’t respond to the call, but was working when the call came in and knew it sounded serious.

Incredibly, though, Martinez, who has no history of seizures, suffered no serious injuries, only a bruised ego.

“All my neighbors have lights,” Martinez said. “I kind of was sad that I was the odd man out.”

Since doctors told him not to go back on the roof, there was no way his lights were going to be hung, until he got a knock at the door.

“I said ‘hey you started a project, I’m gonna help you finish it,’” Bailer said.

On his day off, Bailer, who has a side business hanging Christmas lights, finished the job.

“After everything was said and done, he tried to hand me money and I said, ‘that’s not what we do here in Texas, especially here in Midlothian. We take care of each other,’” Bailer said he told Martinez.

Besides, both men said they got something far more valuable: a friendship.

“The best part was the conversation,” Martinez said. “That was even better.”

The two spent so much time getting to know each other that a job which normally takes Bailer an hour instead took him four hours.

“It reminds me that there’s still great people in the community,” Martinez said. “People who look out for their neighbor.”

However, Bailer said he didn’t do anything any other firefighter wouldn’t do.

He was simply doing what’s right, because helping others is easy when you find your light and let it shine.

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