On the same day paralyzed Northern California jockey Michael Martinez
learned he is not a candidate for using embryonic stem cells to treat
his severed spinal cord in a clinical trial, he became a father.
Martinez's fiancé, Charlotte Garcia, went into labor Sept. 21 and later
gave birth to a five-pound, 14-ounce baby girl named Merari Charlotte,
said Dennis Patterson, the 24-year-old rider's agent. The birth took
place at Highland General Hospital in Oakland, the same facility where
Martinez has been hospitalized since undergoing 11 hours of emergency
surgery after he sustained severe injuries in a Sept. 12 fall at Golden
Speaking by phone Sept. 22, Patterson said Martinez, paralyzed from the
waist down, has been transferred from the hospital's intensive care
unit to a private room. Martinez, who also received significant brain
bruising in the fall, has been more alert in recent days but "he is
still not talking a lot," the agent said.