After depriving him of nutrients for more than two weeks, a hospital in Arizona has agreed to give a Native American coma patient food and water. The patient's family had been fighting to keep him alive and plans to transfer him to another facility as soon as he's strong enough.
What's the story?
On New Year's Eve, David Ruiz, a 32-year-old member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, suffered a stroke and collapsed. He was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tucson and has been in a coma ever since.
On Jan. 9, the hospital removed Ruiz's feeding tube. On Jan. 13, it stopped giving him fluids. Without life-saving nutrients, Ruiz got weaker and weaker.
His mother, Patricia Adames, and other family members pleaded with the hospital to keep him alive long enough for them to transfer him somewhere else. Despite the hospital declaring him brain dead on Jan. 13, Ruiz's family insisted that he was making slight motions and reacting to their voices.
On Monday morning, Adames spoke with Glenn Beck on his radio show. She painted a grim picture of her son's health after so much time without nutrients.
"He is very, very emaciated, dehyrdated, very weak and frail. His bones are protruding from the skin. So he's not as responsive," she said. "Yesterday, and today it's very delayed. But yes, he did respond when we talked."
Adames told Beck that she already had legal guardianship of Ruiz, who has two small children, and that she was going to demand that same day that the hospital provide him with fluid and nutrients as quickly as possible so that he could regain enough strength to be transferred.
What happened after the interview?
A few hours after the interview, the hospital finally listened. Adames told TheBlaze that after meeting with the family, they began rehydrating Ruiz through an IV. On Tuesday, he will begin to get nutrients by means of total parenteral nutrition.
"A burden has been lifted," Adames told TheBlaze, with obvious relief in her voice. "It's a miracle. We are all amazed."
Once Ruiz gains enough strength to be transferred, his family plans to move him to a facility in a state like New Jersey, where the legal system will protect him from being deprived of food and water in the future.