Join SA Current Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jesus-fueled birthday eye gouge

Posted on Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Greg Harman

Today is Rafael's birthday. He is 13.

When first diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy the docs gave him 10 years to live. He's blown past their prognostications. It has not been easy.

Over the weekend Rafael was inducted into a private Christian wrestling federation, Warriors 4 Christ Wrestling, and they are already planning his first match. When he gets out of Children's Methodist he'll be facing down inter-continental champion Joey Nitro.

The tween who has no use of his legs and the lung capacity of a bird believes he can take the broad-chested Nitro.

“You may have to use the eye gouge,” I suggest.

“Yeah, I may have to use some dirty moves,” his bright voice responds, enthusiasm welling over.

I've been honored to become a friend of this remarkable family. A family with faults, sure. A family brave enough to put their story out there to be picked apart by reams of anonymous posters. A family now experiencing incredible strain as they fight to get the home medical care that Rafael requires while keeping their family together.

Since filing my story about Rafael, the tables have definitely turned. Methodist Children's has brought in Child Protective Services and is working overtime to limit communication between myself and the Garcias. On my last visit to their hospital room, I was escorted out of the hospital by security. Next time they will call the San Antonio Police Department, they say.

So I am forced to send my birthday salutations via blog from my downtown office.


Hang in there bud! I'm looking forward to the day I'll be shooting video of you knocking down these tights-wearing pretenders in the ring.

I'm convinced you can triumph â?? even without dirty tricks. It's your heart, Ralphie boy, that is your secret weapon. Your heart that never says die.

Wishing you a speedy return home and all the safety, rest, and play that all children deserve.

Your Friend,


San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 20, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation