Fulfilling a promise to a man in a vegetative state for 31 years gave him a life and a purpose

  • Article by: JOHN ROGERS , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 25, 2014 - 10:35 PM

MURRIETA, Calif. — Paul Cortez can remember the night 31 years ago as clearly as if it was last week. He had walked into the pediatric intensive care unit of Riverside County Regional Medical Center to find his 7-year-old son, Mikey, barely clinging to life.

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buckshot1Jan. 25, 14 8:26 PM

Very touching story. Amazing love from a father.

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gofurnuttJan. 25, 14 9:20 PM

'Ya Can Utter The Word all 'ya Want on any and all Occasions, But This was "TRUE" LOVE....

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gemie1Jan. 25, 14 9:59 PM

It shows that even with the most severe of disabilities, this person lived a life of love, purpose and fulfillment.

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moreaulmJan. 25, 1411:15 PM

Touches me. With the love of your family you stayed down here longer than doctors thought. They tried to give you a life as normal as possible. Until God called you to be with him.

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forpeopleJan. 26, 1412:55 AM

This is a story of love in a wonderful family. A worthy story. Thank you StarTribune for inspiring us all with this story. Thank you Cortez family for embracing love and life.

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elle2008Jan. 26, 14 5:19 AM

This story really touches me. My husband had a cousin with MS. Tim was really in bad shape and mom had pancreatic cancer. She hung on. When he died at about age 38, she died. It was so sad.

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katryggJan. 26, 14 9:31 AM

This is a touching story of a very special family. Hopefully in the future we can move to replacing "vegetative state" with better terms such as "unresponsive wakefulness syndrome" or "minimally conscious state".

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Gerald1399Jan. 26, 14 9:40 AM

It's a touching story, however, please do not do this to me. I vote more for "quality of life." I cannot imagine that the Family can afford this intensive care for their son for 31 years. My Medical Power of Attorney is all in order. My friend, a nurse, took care of her son 24/7 for 44 years which involved sleep apnea; bladder catheterizations 4 times daily; a very attentive husband who died of CA of the stomach, also taken care of at home by her. He died about 7 years ago and her son finally died about 3 years ago and she was 69 at the time. She fly out to CA to visit me and said she had not had a plane ride for over 44 years because of her sons 24/7 care. She is a saint, but it is so much fun to see her "now that she is free." She never left her son with anyone else but her husband or herself. They had no outside help and they never had any outside assistance except disability from Social Security. She will definitely go to a special place in heaven.

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celtman1Jan. 26, 1412:13 PM

This is truly touching and it's wonderful to see that kind of love and commitment in a family (or any person). However, I do take umbrage with KATRYGG for trying to apply a politically correct term for vegetative state. Is there no limit with some people to try to come up with new reasons to assign victim-hood to people? My guess is that this poor kid has been enough of a victim in his short life.

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