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Michael Martinez Becomes a Father

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 Gate Fields.

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. Read More


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