Ramiro Gonzales is a living, breathing example of our human capacity to transform and heal. And now Ramiro wants to give life to others: Over the past year and a half, on the inspiration of a spiritual counselor, Ramiro has sought to become an in vivo kidney donor, and donate his kidney as a life-giving act of atonement.
If you also believe in our human ability to change and grow, please join us in signing this petition asking the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to save Ramiro Gonzales’s life and stop his July 13 execution.
As observed by Dr. Katherine Porterfield, a Ph.D. psychologist, Ramiro experienced “catastrophic childhood traumatic stress” growing up. When Dr. Porterfield evaluated Ramiro, she found that his childhood trauma was, literally, off the charts. He experienced all ten stress factors that clinicians use to measure childhood trauma—an amount of toxic stress “so extreme,” Dr. Porterfield said, that not a single child in the original Centers for Disease Control study of 17,000 children that developed these stress factors had experienced Ramiro’s level of trauma.
Ramiro’s mother abused inhalants and alcohol when she was pregnant with him, and overdosed so intensely when he was in her womb that her stomach had to be pumped. He was eventually sent to live with his grandparents, who also didn’t care for him. Ramiro was once spotted crawling outside in diapers, walking down the street by himself, and drinking dirty water with a dog. Ramiro’s grandfather was a serial sexual abuser and perpetrator of incest, and had raped Ramiro’s mother and all of her sisters. Ramiro himself also experienced sexual abuse in preschool when his cousin raped him – a deep scar that Ramiro felt he was to blame for.
Ramiro was never cared for, loved, or nurtured. His childhood left psychological scars so extreme that he did not want to live. In fact, he tried to take his life many times between the ages of 14 and 19.
Ramiro has done more than heal from his pain, Dr. Porterfield found; he has grown to feel remorse that is deep and genuine. Ramiro told Dr. Porterfield, “I’m trying to take all these broken pieces and make sense of it.”
And over the last 18 months, Ramiro has taken concrete steps to give his kidney as an act of atonement. Ramiro entered the donation process with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where doctors not only approved Ramiro as a donor, but described him as an “excellent candidate.” Ramiro has a rare B blood type, and kidney-failure patients with this blood type often wait years – even up to a decade – for a kidney. If you want the Board of Pardons and Paroles to stop Ramiro’s execution so that he has the opportunity to give life, please sign this petition.
Texas Defender Service
P.S. If you would like to hear Dr. Gripon speak about Ramiro, please check out this video.