SAN ANTONIO (KABB/WOAI) — A Texas man hospitalized for about 10 months due to COVID complications faces yet another hurdle.
When KABB first met Mark Miranda six months ago, he was barely able to speak.
Three months later, the husband and father of two was making slow, but steady progress on a ventilator.
Today, he's talking and moving on his own.
But that's been overshadowed by an ongoing legal fight for Mark's rights to make decisions on his behalf.
In September, Christus Santa Rosa served the Miranda family papers, asking that Mark be stripped of rights to make his own decisions and forfeit them to a group called Angel Guardians LLC.
After appearing in court, it was determined that Mark would not be appointed a guardian.
"I do not need a guardian to make my decisions," says Mark.
But in October, the court appointed Mark a temporary guardian despite protests from Mark and his wife Kim.
Now, Mark is no longer at Christus Santa Rosa, but in another hospital in San Antonio recovering from pneumonia.
Just two days ago they were served papers yet again requesting permanent guardianship from Christus Santa Rosa, stating Mark is "incapacitated".
"I don’t think it’s right for them to serve us again," says Mark.
"If he’s able to demonstrate that he is of sound mind, capable of making decisions, has a sense of awareness, then it would be completely inappropriate for a guardianship to be appointed," says personal injury attorney Erica Maloney.
When KABB spoke to Maloney about the Mirandas in September, she said Christus would have to prove Mark was incapacitated.
KABB asked Christus Santa Rosa why they wanted to pursue permanent guardianship since Mark is no longer a patient there.
A statement says in part:
Any decision that is made about the care of our patients is carefully made and only in the best interest of our patients. This is an ongoing legal matter and we can’t speak about specifics.
Mark and Kim continue to advocate for Mark's independence and warn others if this could happen to them, it can happen to you.
"If you’re going into the hospital, make sure you make your wishes known, tell somebody what you want to have done with you," says Kim. "If not, things like this can happen to you."
A court date has not been set for the Mirandas yet, but Mark says he's going to tell the judge he's making progress and can make his own decisions.