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. 

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

Things That Matter

Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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Um Hi, Armie Hammer Dropped Out Of A JLO Movie After Leaked Texts Claimed He’s Into Being A Cannibal And Is 2021 Over Yet?

Entertainment

Um Hi, Armie Hammer Dropped Out Of A JLO Movie After Leaked Texts Claimed He’s Into Being A Cannibal And Is 2021 Over Yet?

Gregg DeGuire / Getty, Taylor Hill / Getty

Yes, welcome to 2021. A year whose heels only just hit the ground when Republican extremists terrorized the Capitol building leading to Donald Trump’s impeachment… And oh yeah saw actor Armie Hammer being accused of liking cannibalism. Yes, we said it cannibalism, ya know, an appetite for eating your own kind?

Gossip surrounding the Call Me By Your Name actor and his sex life has become so salacious that the actor announced that he was stepping back from an upcoming movie with Jennifer Lopez.

Armie Hammer announced this week that he will no longer star in the upcoming movie, Shotgun Wedding alongside Jennifer Lopez.

The brewing scandal involving Hammer includes alleged leaked messages related to his sex life.

The leaked messages alleged that Hammer has a thing for fantasies related to rape and cannibalism and was leaked by an anonymous social media account user with the name House of Effie. According to the account, Hammer told a woman that he was “100 percent a cannibal.” Another message suggested that Hammer liked the taste of blood.

“I’m not responding to these bulls–t claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for four months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic,” Hammer said in a statement to Page Six. “Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that.”

Still, the show will go on for Lopez who will star in the film being directed by “Pitch Perfect” director Jason Moore.

The film will be distributed in the US by Lionsgate and will stream internationally on Amazon Prime. According to Deadline, Shotgun Wedding was meant to see Lopez and Hammer “play a couple who gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding just as they begin to get cold feet about their relationship. If that wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone’s lives are in danger when the entire party is taken, hostage.”

Despite the unconfirmed gossip around him, Hammer still has upcoming projects. These include the thriller, “The Billion Dollar Spy,” and a sequel to the 2017 hit “Call Me By Your Name” in which he played Oliver, a handsome doctoral student.

Its not the first time gossip around Hammer’s love life has caused a stir. In a 2013, Playboy interview Hammer described himself as a “dominant lover” and enjoyed “grabbing women by the neck and hair.”

He later told E! News of the candid Playboy interview, “Don’t drink during an interview.”

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