Local News

March 27, 2013

Born with no time to live, daughter turns 15 today

LOGANSPORT — When Julie Martinez gave birth to her daughter Alexandra Darland 15 years ago today, the doctor told her no one at the hospital had one ounce of hope for her child.

“She will have a seizure and she will die,” Martinez recalled the doctor saying. “And she’s going to be 15 on Wednesday.”

Born premature at 26 weeks and weighing 3 pounds, Alexandra was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, scoliosis and hydrocephalus, a condition in which an abnormal amount of fluid accumulates in brain cavities. She is also mostly blind and suffers from seizures and contractures, the permanent shortening of muscles and joints.

Alexandra requires total care. Her parents lift her in and out of her wheelchair, bathe her and feed her using a gastric feeding tube.

At about 4 feet tall, Alexandra has grown out of the special car seat she uses when she travels. A wheelchair van would allow her to travel safely, but their $30,000 to $40,000 price tags are yet another element in the long list of things Alexandra has had to overcome.

Martinez said most children with her daughter’s ailments eventually leave home to live at professional care centers.

“We want to keep her at home as long as we can but I can’t travel with her unsafe either,” she said. “If I can’t get all the things that I need to take care of her at home, I won’t be able to keep her at home. That’s my fear.”

In an effort to get a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for Alexandra so she can remain at home, Martinez entered her into a nationwide contest hosted by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association coinciding with National Mobility Awareness Month, observed in March. People can participate in the contest by voting online once a day for the entrant they think is most deserving to win a custom wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

The winner will be the entrant with the most votes by May 10. People can vote for Alexandra by visiting, clicking “Enter or Vote Now” and searching for Alexandra Darland in Logansport.

Martinez said Alexandra’s biological father, a Logansport resident, doesn’t visit her. Her stepfather, Abraham Martinez, has been helping take care of her since she was 2 years old. For ten years, he stayed at home with Alexandra while she worked.

“He has been her father since she was 2,” Julie Martinez said. “She loves him. He just has to clear his throat and she gets really happy. He knows exactly what she needs. If she’s fussy and I can’t figure it out, he’ll just go in there and move her or do something and it works every time.”

Translated by Julie Martinez while he spoke in Spanish, Abraham Martinez said he’s never seen Alexandra as a burden and that he loves her very much.

“It’s a father-daughter relationship,” Abraham Martinez said. “It’s hard to see her suffer.”

Julie Martinez said Alexandra loves attending Logansport High School, where she is a freshman. She also enjoys visiting parks and listening to music — she admires Bachata, Salsa, One Direction and Taylor Swift.

“Because she can’t see very well, her hearing is like superhero hearing,” Julie Martinez said.

Julie Martinez said she nicknamed Alexandra “sassafras” the day she was born for her sassy, spunky and fun-loving personality.

“She’s so happy,” she said, adding Alexandra finds it hilarious when people sneeze. “If she’s awake nine hours, she’s laughing eight and a half of those hours.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT073014 Hickman.jpg Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    MONTICELLO — Two were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores. Lindsey R. Hogg, 22, Monticello, and Rachel D. Hickman, 23, Burnettsville, were arrested by the Lafayette

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fatal wreck UPDATE: Monticello woman killed in overnight wreck

    A Monticello woman was killed late Monday night in an automobile accident involving a car and semi-trailer truck in the northbound lane of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pool sets Sunday at closing date

    The season will close at Tower Park Municipal Pool on Sunday, according to the Logansport Parks & Recreation Department. Final season activities will begin on Friday, including "Floatie Friday." Pool-goers are invited

    July 29, 2014

  • Police investigate possible stabbing

    A woman called 911 late Monday to report she had been stabbed in her Brookston home.

    July 29, 2014

  • Winamac woman dies in crash with county truck A Winamac woman is dead after failing to stop at an intersection and being struck by a Pulaski County Highway Department dump truck. Just before noon on Monday, Dollie Frinkle, 71, Winamac, was driving a 1996 Buick Park Avenue westbound on 100 South

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled. The Indiana attorney general's office announced Monday it ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 29, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - PT072914 Colts-pic [Duplicate] QB Luck making progress ANDERSON — Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University.During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.The Indianapolis Colts quar

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • District's tire collection effort still going strong If you’ve got old tires, the county still wants them.The Cass County Solid Waste District extended the county-wide tire collection program Monday for the next few weeks — or until the new semi-trailer is full at least.District director Bob Ehle has b

    July 29, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities.Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500 W

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

     View Results