They call him Garage for short. His full name is Sixty-Six Garage — after the place the van he was traveling in was taken after it crashed near the Mexican border about 100 miles east of San Diego in June 1999.
Or so the story goes.
No one knows for sure, but it’s the lore that’s the personal history of a man who has lived anonymously on life support for more than 15 years, longer than almost all of the other residents at the Villa Coronado Skilled Nursing Facility.
Garage, somewhere in his mid-30s, is severely brain damaged. He can’t speak. He doesn’t respond to his environment, but he can sometimes follow movement with his large brown eyes. He spends almost all of his days and nights in a bed in the corner of a room that he shares with two roommates — also on life support and non-responsive. He has a feeding tube in his stomach and a breathing tube in his throat.
“We all wonder: ‘Where did you come from?’ ” said Ed Kirkpatrick, director of the Coronado nursing home. “Did you graduate from high school, what was your life like?”