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. 

This Abuelita Had To Wait 64 Years But She Finally Made Her Quinceañera Dreams Come True

Fierce

This Abuelita Had To Wait 64 Years But She Finally Made Her Quinceañera Dreams Come True

@tcsnoticias / Twitter

This abuelita always wanted to celebrate her quinces, and now at the age of 79, she finally did. Complete with the event’s classic necessities, a voluminous dress, tiered cake and chambelanes, this young-at-heart viejita made her dream come true. Gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘better late than never’ right?

The emotional story has social media shook—and naturally, it’s gone viral.

Facebook Yolanda Luna

The 79 year-old danced the traditional waltz with not-so-traditional chambelanes. Her dance partners were all her grandchildren. And what’s more; her own daughter planned the whole thing. 

“Lo más hermoso que te puede pasar en toda tu vida, es ver a tu mamá feliz”

Facebook Yolanda Luna

Okay so get the tissue ready. This woman knew that her mom’s life-long dream had been to have had celebrated her Quince años with a big party —and equally big dress. And although she’s not quite quince anymore, it’s never too late to make someone’s dream come true. So Yolanda Luna set out to make her mami happy.

79 year old Nina Silva is from La Plata, Argentina. 

Facebook Yolanda Luna

When she turned fifteen, her family wasn’t able to throw her the quinceañera party she always wanted, due to economic struggles, so she gave up hope of ever having one. But little did she know that she’d have to wait over 60 years to see her dream come true.

“Tu fiesta de quince años que no tuviste, hoy la estás viviendo como vos querías”

“The quince años party that you never had, you’re now experiencing the way you always wanted it,” read a post that Nina’s daughter Yolanda Luna posted on Facebook about the party. 

The abuelita wore a silver and pink dress, and completed the look with a silver tiara. 

Facebook Yolanda Luna

The party was made possible thanks to the help of family and friends. Many family members made food for the occasion, and everyone helped get the traditional cake. 

No quinceañera would be complete without the traditional waltz.

The quinceañera obviously had her dance, and in Nina’s case, the chambelanes who accompanied her in this dance were all her children and grandchildren —we’re not crying, you’re crying.

Her own children were perhaps happier than the quinceañera herself, who wouldn’t stop smiling all night long. 

Algunas fotos del cumple de mamá un orgullo para mi la mamá tan maravillosa q tengo a sus 79 años le cumplimos su sueño…

Posted by Soledad Luna on Sunday, January 12, 2020

The family hired a venue, a DJ and got the whole town to come together to celebrate their viejita. “A sus 79 años le cumplimos su sueño de tener su cumple de 15 que no pudo tener,“ wrote another one of Nina’s children, Soledad  Luna. “At 79 we made her dream come true.”

Turning 15 is considered a momentous occasion, as it is the moment that they symbolically become young women. 

While the quinceañera celebrations may have more in common with a wedding than a birthday party, they’re a traditional and enduringly popular rite of passage for many young Latinas. The Quinceañera, which literally translates to “the girl who is 15,” signifies a young girl’s transition in becoming a woman, and a lot of the traditions and elements of the party symbolize her transition and growth into womanhood. 

For many, a quinceañera is seen simply as an excuse for a blow-out party with family and friends 

The actual significance of the tradition is tied into both Catholic and pre-Hispanic culture. Many years ago, this celebration was rather more literal than symbolic; in pre-Hispanic times, 15 was considered the appropriate age to begin childbearing, and in the 20th century the right time to be married. Luckily, this no longer tends to be the case, but even so the quinceañera tradition has endured.

Nina’s celebration is proof that you don’t have to be fifteen to celebrate your Quinces. Get yourself a puffy dress and some chambelanes, because you’re never too old to celebrate womanhood.

The Best And Worst National Anthem Performances Of All Time

Entertainment

The Best And Worst National Anthem Performances Of All Time

CavBuffaloSoldier /Youtube

Belting out any song in your best voice can be tough stuffings. But when it comes to performing the “Star-Spangled Banner” only singers in a completely different league of their own can actually do the national anthem justice. The songs poetic lyrics are notoriously difficult because of its wide range. So of course, naturally, in the decades of performances in which “Star-Spangled Banner” has been song at sporting events and the like, there have been some mishaps. 

This year, both Shakira and J.Lo are set to perform at the Super Bowl’s halftime show while Demi Lovato will make a career come back by singing the national anthem for millions of viewers. Here’s a look at all of the times singers have rocked and flubbed the national anthem.

That time the Dixie Chicks did a beautiful country rendition of the song.

Fans of the Dixie Chicks fell further in love with the country music stars when they stuck to the original lyrics and sentiment of the song when they performed at Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. 

When Whitney Houston gave a GOAT performance back in the 90s.

The queen of pop reigned supreme back in the 90s and thanks to her outstanding vocal range she had the full anthem in the bag. During the 1991 Super Bowl XXV,  Houston sang and hit each and every note. Not only that, she recorded the song and released it as a single and when 9/11 happened she re-released the single and gave all of her earnings to charity. 

In 1983, when Marvin Gaye gave the national anthem a whirl and blew our minds.

Twenty years ago, the beloved “Aint No Mountain High Enough” singer took the anthem to the next level. The singer’s  1983 NBA All-Star performance had a traditional MoTown feel and to this day is celebrated. In fact, his rendition was used in a 2008 Nike commercial featuring the 2008 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

When Chloe and Halle gave the classic ballad a twist of their own.

Back in 2017, the sister duo stole breaths at the NFL Draft Kick Off when the two sang “America the Beautiful”.  Beyonce did us a solid by discovering them.

That time Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem in a fire pantsuit. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU_UEVp2ynU

Lady Gaga rocked Stadiums at the 2016 Super Bowl. During her performance, the Lady of ladies hit all of her notes and reinvigorated both sides of the crowd. 

That time Fergie went for an eye-popping performance. 

Beloved singer Fergie did a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner’ in 2018 that was one for the books. The strange performance went haywire when the singer attempted to go for a sultry version of the national anthem that just… did not slay. During her perfroamce, camera panned to find audience members stifling giggles and soon enough an internet meme was born. Poor Fergie.

When Roseanne Barr gave us a peek into just how problematic she was.

Back in 1990, Barr made an appearance at a Padres game and sang the national anthem. (Still no word on who booked her for this.) Barr’s cringeworthy performance, which was off-key and oddly high pitched, was made worse when fans realized she was attempting to make the patriotic song into a joke. The racist comedian dared to even spit on the pitcher’s mound as she was leaving the field. Yikes. 

When Christina Aguilera forgot the lyrics.

In 2011, Aguilera came out to sing the lyrics to our countries beloved anthem and pretty much bombed. The famous singer had been celebrated for nailing the song hundreds of times. Even when she was kid. Video of the singer proves that she started out of the gate spectacularly but ultimately, things took a turn for the worse when she skipped over lyrics and even began the song again. According to an interview with Aguilera on Elleh, the singer let her get the mood get to her so bad that she forgot most of the lyrics and tried to improve.