At first, Nick Kelton thought his guard was playing a prank.
Kelton, a meth addict who has been to prison three times already, found himself watching from a holding cell at the Parker County Jail as a guard, who had been talking and joking around with the group of inmates only moments before, slumped over in his chair.
"He just fell over. ... It looked like an act," Kelton told local Texas station WFAA.
It quickly became apparent, however, that this was no joke. Something was wrong — the guard had suffered a heart attack.
The eight inmates in holding started yelling for help, banging on the walls, trying to get someone's attention.
When no one came, the prisoners took a drastic and potentially dangerous measure: They broke out of their holding cell to save the guard.
A quick check on the slumped guard revealed that he had no pulse, so the prisoners continued making a commotion, trying to get the attention of prison officials in the building.
"I was worried," Kelton said, that "they're gonna come with their guns drawn on us."
Hearing the commotion, a group of deputies rushed in from upstairs, corralling the inmates and calling the paramedics.
While the guard was unconscious, all eight inmates had access to his gun and keys.
"It could've been an extremely bad situation," said Sgt. Ryan Speegle.
Instead, it was a moment of heroism.
Thanks to the prisoners making so much noise and risking breaking out of their holding cell, the guard's life was saved. The deputies were able to arrive on the scene quickly and call paramedics, who defibrillated the unconscious guard.
The guard, who is expected to return to work next week, was saved by the very people he was guarding.
Despite the troubled life Kelton has lived, a man got to return home to his family because of him.
“It never crossed my mind not to help, whether he’s got a gun or a badge. If he falls down, I’m gonna help him,” Kelton said. “He’s a good man.”