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Update: The Tarrant Co Medical examiner pronounced Kevin Garcia dead at 1:36pm Friday at John Peter Smith Hospital.
Kevin’s sister, Denise Etherton of San Antonio, and next-of-kin, wrote on Facebook:
“It is with great sadness that Bill and I had to say goodbye to my brother, Kevin Garcia. After many tests and discussions with doctors it was decided to remove Kevin from the ventilator. The head trauma from the beating was only minor, however the lack of oxygen to his brain was devastating. Additionally, his kidneys were shutting down and he was completely unresponsive. The doctors said the damage was permanent and that he would not recover. Even though his heart and lungs are in excellent condition, he is not able to breathe enough to sustain life. Kevin is an organ donor and hopefully his last act will be to help others.”
NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The College Station store clerk who was beaten, thrown into the back of his pickup and driven more than 10 hours to Haslet was taken off life support and died Friday afternoon.
Kevin Garcia suffered brain damage from the assault and had been in a coma.
Garcia’s sister and brother-in-law came to North Texas to be by his side.
Hours before making the decision to end life support Garcia’s sister, Denise Etherton, explained, “So he quits breathing, or it gets very, very shallow — like two or three per minute. And that’s getting no oxygen to the brain. And possibly when the guy put him back in the truck, in the bed of the truck, it jostled him [and] got the heart going again.”
Etherton and her husband, Bill, were with the 55-year-old Garcia at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth when they made the decision to discontinue life support.
The family says if the suspect — Nathaniel Edward Tillery — had left Garcia in the parking lot where he was attacked he may have received critical medical attention. But after hours in the back of his stolen pickup, Garcia was in a coma and was eventually pulled off of life support.
“You feel like there’s no hope because of the lack of oxygen,” Etherton said before mechanical support was removed. “And this is what his life would be until the heart says no more? Is that really a life? I don’t know. I’m running out of relatives I don’t want to let him go.”
Etherton thought highly of her brother and has fond memories of time spent with him. “He’s got a heart of gold. When I go down to visit with him and we’d go to different establishments to eat he would run into somebody or somebody would come up to and say hi and everything.”
Garcia was divorced and lived alone with his beloved cat ‘George.’ He had hoped to someday remarry. With her voice breaking Etherton remembered, “He said he didn’t want to be alone, he did not want to die alone.”
The family says they don’t know the reason behind the beating and kidnapping of their brother — but they know how they feel about suspect Tillery.
“You know how people forgive,” Etherton said as she shook her head. “No.”
Her husband Bill had some very specific ideas for punishment. “As far as I’m concerned, they can tie him to the back of the pickup truck and drag him back to Bryan. I don’t care. If he’s still alive when they get there fine.”
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