Many families in the U.S. have dealt with the effects of a car accident. Some injuries are mild, others extremely serious. Then there is the potential for fatalities that car accidents possess. Some would argue that the uncertainty that comes with a severe injury is even worse than a quick death. That is what happened to the father of a mixed martial arts fighter who not only trains for his bouts but also takes care of his father around the clock.
The rollover accident that changed his father's life forever happened in 1991 when the young athlete and his family were living in San Juan County, N.M. At the time, the MMA fighter was 11 years old. The accident occurred on Bloomfield Highway 64 on April 1. It caused the truck that his father was in to roll seven different times. His father was thrown from the vehicle and sustained a severe brain injury that has left him incapable of caring for himself ever since.
Physicians thought that his father would die from his injuries. Instead, he survived but has never been the same. Before the accident, the man enjoyed racing mini sprint cars at the Aztec Speedway. But that will never happen again.
When the accident happened, the fighter's grandmother took up the responsibility of caring for his father. This was because his mother had died some time before the accident, essentially leaving the 11-year-old and his brother without either parent. Fifteen years after the accident, their grandmother passed away.
More than two decades later, the MMA fighter and his brother -- who is also his manager -- talk about the situation regularly. The athlete is the main caretaker for his father; he is there when his father wakes up, when he needs to eat, when he needs to shower and when he needs to go to sleep. Despite this, he is still a successful fighter.
Source: SportsNet, "Fight Of His Life For Bellator's Martinez," John Livingston, Feb. 21, 2013