While providing mutual agency aid on a grass fire in Midway on January 27, 2017, Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department Captain, Aurelio “Radio” Cuevas, was badly injured while maneuvering over a fence, deforming his left leg. Air medical rescue (Life Flight) was required to transport Captain Cuevas to CHI St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan, TX.
The medical prognosis was not a good one for Captain Cuevas. He had dislocated his left knee, torn his ACL, PCL, LCL, Bicep Fimoris and Peroneal Nerve. After a lengthy surgery and three days in the hospital, during which surgeons had to create two, eight-inch incisions on the left and top sides of his knee, he was released with two screws in his knee and cadaver tissue to repair his ACL. Surgeons had used his own tissue to reattach all other tears. Seemingly the worst was over, yet the uphill battle of recovery was just beginning.
Captain Aurelio Cuevas is was born and raised in Madison County. He began his firefighting career as a Junior Volunteer Firefighter at sixteen years old in 2005, after a chance meeting with the Fire Chief outside the Sheriff’s office, where his car had broken down. Although Cuevas’ parents were hesitant to support his involvement, due to the dangerous nature of the duty of a volunteer firefighter, Cuevas went ahead and attended his first meeting and hasn’t left since.
His loyalty and devotion to the community are evident in his career path as a first responder. In 2011, he earned his Firefighter Certification and became an EMT – Basic in 2016, which became his day job. Most recently, he was awarded the rank of Captain in the Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department.
Cuevas faces a long road to mobility. Doctors have given him at least one year of rehabilitation in physical therapy to reach full leg mobility. Despite a successful surgery, he is also suffering from “Foot Drop”, which happens due to weakness, irritation or damage to the common fibular nerve or paralysis of the muscles in the anterior portion of the lower leg.
Although rehabilitation is a daunting task, for this fighter and the faith he has in God to give him strength, it is only a matter of putting in the work.
“It’s heart warming the love and support that Madison and surrounding counties have shown me. I really appreciate it. I am so grateful for the brotherhood of the Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department and the men and women who have supported me throughout this journey.” Cuevas goes on to say, “The love and faithfulness of my church family at Madisonville Christian Fellowship has been truly meaningful.”
Insurance and piling up medical bills are the last thought, yet the hard reality of any illness or injury. To help offset the massive medical expenses, the Madisonville Volunteer Fire Department invites you to come out and support Captain Cuevas at a BBQ and Hamburger Lunch benefit fundraiser at the Madisonville Fire Station on Friday, April 7,and Saturday, April 8, beginning at 11 a.m. They will keep serving until the food is gone. Pre-orders for pick-up or delivery are available by contacting Clint Vance at (936) 349-5344. Cash and credit cards will be accepted on site, however, cash only for deliveries.