Maria Yolanda Sanchez by all accounts was a loving mother who worked hard to support her children.
Her world came crashing down eight months ago when she was severely — and viciously beaten — in her Manteca home.
Her 39-year-old son, Alan Duran, is being held in county jail without bail on charges he brutally kicked his mother in the head at her Alameda Street home in the afternoon of Jan. 4.
Family members say they have been told Sanchez may never improve with her memory devoid of events, people and places.
Sanchez was in critical condition for weeks at San Joaquin General Hospital before her oldest son Felipe took her to his Fresno home where he and his wife took personal care of her with their two children at her side – a special effort since they both work 40 hours a week. After they determined it required 24 hour a day care, seven days a week indefinitely, they placed her at the Meadow Wood, Stockton rehabilitation facility at her request.
Duran is being held in the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp on four separate felony charges including attempted premeditated murder, aggravated mayhem, mental competency, and forging or altering medical prescriptions. The 5-foot-4, 150-pound Duran fled the home after the attack by asking neighbors to give him a ride to downtown Manteca where he feigned the use of an ATM machine, saying he was out of cash. He disappeared after that.
Manteca Police found him at 2 a.m. the following day in a residential area of northeast Manteca.
Deputy District Attorney Peter Devincenzie has been assigned to the case but was unavailable Monday afternoon to discuss the status of Duran’s court case.
A cousin who grew up with Duran, said he had been a “good guy” and religious until drugs took over and then it all changed for the worse after being a light weight prize fighter. When he started taking drugs he would say that people were following him and helicopters were in the air watching him all the time, his cousin said.
Felipe said his mom — who has two steel plates in her head — can only eat puréed foods. She is supported by a feeding tube to get her nourishment and her medicines. He said that she had fallen and had some bleeding in her head before he took her to Stockton. Felipe added that it has been hard to get people to go and visit her in Stockton. Visits help to bring back some memory when she sees faces from the past.
He said, as the oldest son, he was able to secure power of attorney and get a short sale on her house on Alameda Street. Of her other children, he said, “Mom has been taking care of them since they were born.”
As for his children, he added, “She has moments where she recognizes the kids when they are there with her for a while and then her mind wanders.”
Co-workers from her job in Oakland have driven to Stockton to visit with her but her memory is blank for the last 10 years, he said. She wonders why some relatives who have died in the interim don’t care to come – not aware of their passing.
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