Things That Matter

A Journalist Knew That An Undocumented Comatose Man Had To Be Conscious And Went On A Wild Chase To Find His Family

For nearly 20 years, one anonymous crash victim had spent his days lying alone in a California hospital without a name, without family, and supposedly, without consciousness.

A man from Mexico, whose family believed him to be dead, had spent the better part of 20 years in a coma and unidentified. According to a recent report conducted by the Los Angeles Times, the victim was considered catatonic and in a “vegetative state” until one day, an investigative journalist began looking into the patient’s life and identified him. 

With her work, one man’s story, which could have seen the rest of his life spent on a hospital bed, is moving forward with a little bit more hope.

Just before his 34th birthday in January 2016, an investigative journalist began to dig into his story. 

Joann Faryon of the LA Times discovered his real name and spent four years by his side trying to prove that he was conscious. 

According to the Daily Mail, Ignacio was nicknamed ‘Sixty-Six Garage’ by trauma surgeons who treated him after he was injured in a car crash on June 1999. He was known as ‘Sixty-Six Garage’ for the first 16 years that he spent in a vegetative state at Villa Coronado Skilled Nursing Facility in Coronado. 

The Los Angeles Times was the original publication that broke the story on August 1 publishing a long-form column on how investigative journalist Faryon did all she could to find out the real identity of this man.

“[Sixty-Six Garage] is the name he probably would have been buried with if Ed Kirkpatrick, director of the Villa Coronado Skilled Nursing Facility, hadn’t let me into Room 20 — Garage’s room. I’d already spent nearly a year at the Villa, reporting on people on life support. I’d documented what life was like for people kept alive this way — more than 4,000 in California alone — and the life and death choices their families were forced to make. Now Kirkpatrick was trusting me to tell Garage’s story,” writes Faryon in her story. 

The article has also inspired the production of the podcast, titled “Room 20,” where the Los Angeles Times recounts the time the investigative journalist spent figuring out where he belonged and what his life before the accident had been like.

In the LA Times article, Faryon details the two years that she spent getting to know Ignacio, or Nacho, as his family called him. Through the trajectory of those two years, she tracked down people, she sorted through documents and scientific evidence in order to understand how one ordinary Mexican teenager could lose his humanity and his identity in such a tragic way. 

Ignacio had been in a car crash near the U.S.-Mexico border in 1999 shortly after crossing the border. 

According to the LA Times report, Garage had been kept alive in a hospital by way of feeding and breathing tubes. Doctors had declared that he was living in a vegetative state with no awareness of his surroundings. Authorities who had assumed he was an undocumented immigrant due to the few pesos he had in his pocket were uncertain as to how to identify him. 

But Faryon had refused to let the story go. After observing his interactions as the hospital she began to suspect that he was, in fact, conscious and aware of his surroundings when he seemingly smiled at her one day in 2015. Faryon also recalls the times that he “appeared to move in and out of consciousness,” sometimes smiling and other times Ignacio appeared to stare at the ceiling and “strike his right leg on the corner of the bed for hours.” 

After that one smile from Ignacio, this investigative journalist decided to fight for this man until getting to the bottom of who he was and where his family’s whereabouts were. 

Besides spending two years with Ignacio to figure out his story, Faryon showed the beautiful side of empathy and humanity as she basically became a huge part of his support system. In the article she published, she writes of the many medications Ignacio had to take and the numerous painful procedures he underwent on a daily basis and she talks about how she did her best to soothe him and make him feel safe. 

According to the original repor  Faryon had clocked in hundreds of hours  between 2015 and 2017 visiting Ignacio and trying to find more information about his crash.

The journalist managed to also uncover a copy of the accident report from 1999. The accident report she obtained revealed that he had been hit by a pickup truck that collided with another car. She also received help from immigrant rights advocacy organization Border Angels. The founder of the organization helped her track down Ignacio’s real name by cross-referencing his fingerprints with Border Patrol agent records. 

In 2016, Faryon tracked down Ignacio’s sister, Juliana, and traveled to Ohio to meet her in 2016.

According to Faryon’s reporting, Juliana explained that her brother Ignacio had left to the U.S. from his home in Oaxaca, Mexico when he was only 17 years old. Weeks after he embarked on his journey, Ignacio had called her to tell her he had been detained by Border Patrol. After he was released, he made the trip back to the U.S. again. 

After that second trip to the U.S., Julianna didn’t hear from her brother again and she assumed that he had died crossing the border that second time. But little did she know that her brother was in a hospital in California, unidentified and without anyone actively looking for him. 

Finally, in February of 2016, Faryon helped Julianna reunite with her brother Ignacio.

Although Faryon wasn’t present during the reunion, she writes that nursing assistants in the California facility that Ignacio was in, said they believed he recognized his older sister. 

Ivanka Trump Whose Father Allegedly Cheated His Way Into College Tells Out-Of-Work Americans To Pass On College And ‘Find Something New’

Things That Matter

Ivanka Trump Whose Father Allegedly Cheated His Way Into College Tells Out-Of-Work Americans To Pass On College And ‘Find Something New’

Win McNamee / Getty

When Donald Trump ran in 2016, many of his supporters were banking on the real estate mogul’s successful empire to help them transform their own pennies into mountains of gold. Now, with a pandemic and unemployment rates skyrocketing, that potential is being put to the test and proving to be failing. As of July, the United States is being gravely incapacitated by an economic collapse caused by a national stay at home orders and the shut down of non-essential businesses. In April, a record number of 20.5 million people lost their jobs, a decline reported as being the most sudden on record.

Still, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump wants Americans to pull themselves up by their own britches and “find something new.”

In a new ad campaign called “Find Something New,” Ivanka Trump is attempting to encourage unemployed Americans to find new careers.

The adviser to her father launched a new initiative on Tuesday urging Americans that are unemployed to find new careers during virtual roundtable which took place amongst other business leaders. Apple CEO Tim Cook was also involved in the discussion which featured a handful of Americans opening up about their own employment stories.

“Now, as a result of COVID, people need to, unfortunately, in some cases learn a completely new skill,” Trump urged during the campaign’s launch. “But that is also an opportunity to be put on for a new trajectory for themselves and their lives and we want to facilitate that connection back to the workforce and make it as smooth as possible.”

Users on Twitter were quick to lambast the “Find Something New” campaign in part for its title. After all, the suggestion to many Americans who have forged careers through years of work and financial commitments to their education is as CNN puts it, “too simplistic a catchphrase to describe the unemployment meltdown happening for millions of Americans as a global pandemic continues to ravage physical and financial health.”

In response to critics, Ivanka Trump defended herself on Twitter.

“I suggest that you visit http://FindSomethingNew.org,” Trump wrote. “This initiative is about challenging the idea the traditional 2 and 4 yr college is the only option to acquire the skills needed to secure a job. This work has never been more urgent.”

Born out of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, Trump’s “Find Something New” campaign has a website that directs users towards other work opportunities. Trump, a graduate of Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, whose niece recently claimed he cheated to get into, has recently called his supporters to overlook college and university job programs in favor of vocational and technical schools. His daughter, Ivanka Trump herself is also a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and while she has proven to be a jack of various trades in terms of career (besides being an advisor to her father, she is a reality star and designer) can undoubtedly chalk all of that up to the success of her own father.

The Pandemic Has Led To A National Coin Shortage Which Means You’re About To Have Laundry

Entertainment

The Pandemic Has Led To A National Coin Shortage Which Means You’re About To Have Laundry

Justin Sullivan / Getty

Laundry might be the least of your problems but the national coin shortage is sure to have an impact on you somehow.

Whether it’s happening at fast-food restaurants, supermarkets, or banks, people across the country are finding themselves cut off from the typical change in hand occurrences of the days before the Coronavirus Pandemic.

That’s right, be warned: coins are in short supply.

The lack of coins in the nation’s marketplace is apparently alarming the federal government enough that the Federal Reserve organized a U.S. Coin Task Force.

According to NBC, the task force will work to “mitigate the effects of low coin inventories caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Twenty-two members of the task force were announced last week on Friday and will meet this month in an effort to identify “actionable steps that supply chain participants can take to address the current coin circulation issue.”

According to an article by NBC the national shortage is a situation “born out of the pandemic, during which businesses that deal heavily in coins, such as laundromats, may have closed, while the fear of getting the coronavirus by touching currency may have spurred people to avoid physical monetary transactions altogether.” It is a direct result of state and city lockdowns which saw the operation of nearly 22,000 coin-cashing kiosks nationwide slowed down.

As a result, some businesses are cautioning customers that they won’t be able to give out change.

Others have rounded out prices to exact amounts. This works for now because paper bills are not in short supply. As of yet…

On the other hand, things might not be so bad.

🤑 We will pay you 1.05¢ for every $1 of ROLLED coins you bring us. We need everything you got! Make money with Money! 🤑

Posted by The Growler Guys on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

According to CBS Boston, some smaller retailers are opting for some lucrative solutions for their customers. A beer shop in Bend, Oregon called The Growler Guys recently told customers on Facebook that it will pay them $1.05 for every $1 in rolled coins they bring in to the store.