by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
ROSWELL, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News viewers have stepped in to help a Roswell woman who suffered brain damage after police said her estranged husband beat her and left for her dead, before killing their son and himself.
Sandra Rivera Ruiz now uses a wheelchair after the December attack.
After Tia Severino saw Channel 2’s reports on Sandra’s condition, she said she told her boss at Hyperbaric PHP in Buford that she wanted to help the family.
“Any time you have oxygen cut off to the brain, the number one thing you want to do is get oxygen back into the brain,” Severino told Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik. “We don’t know how much she will recover. We don’t know how long it will take, but if she has a chance to recover, hyperbaric therapy is one tool that will have the biggest impact on her.”
The clinic’s director, Bill Schindler, explained that hyperbaric treatments infuse the body with pure oxygen and help restore the damage caused by the attack.
“We’re able to saturate the red blood cells and once those cells become saturated, the excess oxygen dissolves into the plasma and allows me to bring blood flow, oxygen to all the tissues, organs glands and bone density,” Schindler said. “So that she can have the memory back, so she can have her speech back, she can open her hand.”
The clinic is giving Sandra free treatments and even sent her home with her own portable chamber to use daily.
“We want to get Sandra back to her kids,” said Severino. “We want her children to have their mother.”
Another viewer, Chris Brand, runs a nonprofit called FODAC, which helps disabled children and adults have access to medical equipment.
“We didn’t know those needs until we saw them on your story,” he said. “It really pulled on our heart that the community was not rallying around her.”
Brand donated a wheelchair and other medical equipment to the family to help with Sandra’s recovery.
“It’s helping the caregivers take care of her better and helping her get out of the house,” he said.
Sandra’s sister, Esmeralda Rivera, told Petchenik she’s overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
“Thank you, thank you so much,” she said. “I can’t explain. We feel like we have life again.”