Man's last wish: Come back home

Portales couple

There is a love story that began 33 years ago.

Through sickness and health Victor and Martha Portales have stood by each other, and when he was told his days were numbered back in January, she still never left his side.

"The results came back, he has pancreatic and colon cancer, Portales said.

On top of fighting to survive and having a portion of his stomach and colon removed, Victor was stuck in a Florida hospital since he fell ill while working in Pensacola.

His Medicaid covered him there, but he was not registered in Texas.

His wife said hospitals would not accept him.

"Every day that passed was one less day that he had, Martha Portales said.

Victor's family in Brownsville waited anxiously for his return while Martha was sleeping and eating at her husband's side.

They prayed that someone would answer their call for help.

"We finally got help from State Representative Rene Oliveira, Senator Eddie Lucio and Congressman Filemon Vela, she said.

State legislators and a valley congressman made things happen and a Harlingen doctor took on the case.

Now Victor is being treated at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.

"The minute the plane touched down in Harlingen I said thank you Jesus," Martha Portales said.

" I have more years added to my life being around my family, friends and coworkers," Victor Portales said.

Victor is unable to eat or drink. He gets drips of water from a sponge and has developed ulcers and has some internal bleeding.

Still, he can sit up, talk and share a kiss with his wife, which he says is most important.

He is cherishing every one of these moments.

"I'm very happy to be back in the valley with my family, he said.

Victor will start chemotherapy as soon as he is stabilized.

He is extremely optimistic even though his prognosis is grim and doctors have not given him much time.