Survivor couple's year filled with struggles, medical problems after Sutherland Springs shooting

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas - Joaquin Ramirez said his year has been filled with struggles and medical problems after he and his wife, Roseanne Solis, survived the Nov. 5, 2017, shooting inside their small church in Sutherland Springs that left 26 people dead.

The day after the shooting, the couple shared the horrific details of what they lived through. A year later, Ramirez sat down with KSAT reporter Patty Santos in his living room and shared his story in Spanish. His wife, who was resting, still finds it hard to sleep comfortably at night.

“When she sleeps, her sleep is not normal. You can tell she's not getting restful sleep. Her body twitches,” Ramirez said about his wife.

The couple has struggled to make the roughly 40-minute trek from Sutherland Springs to San Antonio for doctor visits and to get mental health treatment. They worry about medical bills and finding a way to get to their appointments.

Both of them are still in physical pain, as they have bullets and shrapnel inside their bodies.

“Sometimes, I don’t want to worry her. I pretend like it doesn’t hurt,” Ramirez said while talking about the sharp pain he gets in his left leg and the cramps he feels when the weather changes. “You have to be strong because, if I’m not strong for her, who will be strong for her? It’s just the two of us.”

Ramirez said he and his wife have only returned to the First Baptist Church a few times, often choosing to worship from home in their own way. He said driving by and seeing the building where so many died also hurts.

“Every time I drive by there, I think, 'God, why did you allow so many to die, those that were so close to you?'” he said.

Ramirez said he thinks the building should not be a shrine or relic of what took place.

“That shouldn’t be there. We know that those children and brothers in Christ that died, we know they are with God now,” he said.

Ramirez said many organizations helped in the months following the shooting, but that help has now disappeared, and the town is almost back to its normal state. But their horrific wounds and memories will take a lot longer to heal. Yet, the couple's faith has gotten stronger.

“We have a great debt with God because, by his mercy, we are alive. God knows what sacrifices he made to save us. He knows what plans he has for us,” he said.

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