Gulf War Veteran Jesse Ramirez in the Fight for His Life

With the imposition of a gag order on the case of Jesse Ramirez, I don't expect a lot of new information until after the upcoming June 26 hearing. However, we received the article below from Jason T. Christy, The Church Report, and are publishing it to remind our readers to keep the Ramirez family in your prayers with the hope that the outcome will be far different than that experienced by those who fought for the life of Terri Schiavo.

Gulf War veteran and father, Jesse Ramirez, is in the biggest fight of his life, literally. Ramirez, 36, was hospitalized with serious head injuries after a May 30 car accident. Jesse Ramirez is a devoted father of three children: Justin (17), Kasey (14) and Austin (11). His family says he enjoys spending his time away from his job at the U.S. Postal service playing video games with his children, taking them to movies and sharing stories about his time in the Navy. Jesse has worked tirelessly to keep his family together throughout his twenty-year marriage. According to court documents, Jesses and Rebecca had ongoing marital problems, and at one time, had been separated for as long as five months. Jesse always persevered, though it is reported he often suspected his wife of extra-marital affairs, including May 30th, the day of the near fatal car accident, in which police reports indicate they were arguing again.

On June 8, his wife, Rebecca, 33, told doctors to disconnect his feeding and hydration tubes and move him to a hospice facility, where he would succumb to dehydration. In Arizona, the law allows for critically ill patients to discontinue medical treatment if they wish. In the absence of a living, the law permits the spouse to make these crucial decisions, with the caveat that those decision be in the best interest of the patient.

On June 12, after speaking with Rebecca Ramirez, Jesse's sister, Marlene Ramirez Oliva filed an emergency petition with the court, asking that the feeding and hydration tubes be reconnected pending further medical testing and legal council. The tubes were reconnected on Wednesday and Jesse has been receiving food and hydration since then.

On Thursday, June 13, the next stage of Jesse's fight began- the legal battle. Rebecca Ramirez, the wife, is fighting Jesse's sister and parents and petitioned the court to once again remove the feeding and hydration tubes. The first stage of the ordeal played out in the courtroom of Judge Paul Katz of Maricopa County Arizona on a hot afternoon that was only made hotter by the fierce temperament of the family of Rebecca Ramirez.

After several hours behind closed doors with the attorneys, Judge Paul Katz returned to the courtroom and announced, "I have been advised that (Ramirez) is stable and not conscious and receiving food and hydration by tube, and he will continue receiving food and hydration until further notice of this court." Judge Katz then appointed a guardian ad litem, an advocate for Jesse Ramirez. He then sternly told the families that "none of you can come in here and say you are speaking for God because none of you are. Until we know more, these decisions are not going to me made with the snap of a wrist." The judge set an evidentiary hearing for June 26 and hoped that in the interim the families would come to some arrangement on their own. He also set visitation schedules for the families and ordered that no cameras or recording devices of any kind be allowed in the hospice facility where Jesse is recovering.

After the hearing, Gary McCaleb, the Senior Counsel for the Christian-based Alliance Defense Fund who represents Jesse's sister, said, "Both Jesse and Rebecca are still recovering. Their children deserve a chance for their Dad to recover. The law requires and objective decision to be made. The decision here is simple- let Jesse recover before making a hasty life and death decision." Theresa Ramirez, Jesse's mother, echoed these comments and said that "all we are asking is that Jesse be given more time. He wasn't given enough time to get better. We love Jesse and don't want the hope taken away from us so quickly. Thankfully, he will be getting food and water now and there is hope again."

Source: Jason T. Christy, The Church Report

Update: Jesse is now headed for rehap




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