16 years later, hospital learns identity of patient "Garage 66"

A patient at Sharp Coronado (Calif.) Hospital was known as "Garage 66" for 16 years before a team of medics, immigration authorities and other civic leaders identified him last week.

The Mexican Consulate in San Diego said the identification was possible through a binational collaboration of medics, immigration authorities, politicians and educators, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Due to confidentiality laws, Sharp cannot disclose his name, details about his condition or circumstances of the car accident that left him severely brain damaged and on life support. The patient, assigned the name "Garage 66" at random, has been in the hospital's Villa Coronado Skilled Nursing Facility since 1999.

Several families came forward believing the man was their relative. A committee of community and government officials administered DNA tests, and the matching family was confirmed in December.

The man's family has requested respect for their privacy and will not address the media, according to the report. The man's medical care is estimated to cost $700 per day, which is funded through Medi-Cal.

A spokesperson for San Diego-based Sharp HealthCare told the Union-Tribune the man's caregivers can now address him by name, and the Sharp team is celebrating dignity returned to a man with a history.

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