Special to the E-T

She has the funds for the procedure, now it’s up to her doctors and her faith.

On Sunday, Beatriz Ramirez will leave for Panama, where she hopes an operation will restore her ability to walk again. .

Thanks to the Stephenville Knights of Columbus, the final $15,000 of the $30,000 needed for the trip and operation have been presented to Ramirez, who  raised the remainder of the money during the last year and a half.

Recently a ‘Knight of Charity’ was sponsored by the Knights for Ramirez, a Dublin resident and member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. With over 260 tickets sold, an auction, dinner, and dance, the remaining funds were raised.

“We really want to thank the people of this generous community for making our ‘Knight of Charity’ successful,” said Willy DeJong, Grand Knight of Council 10816 and event chairman. “The results demonstrate the passion our people have to support a cause such as this. “

Ramirez’ spinal cord was severed in a 2004 automobile accident, leaving her with “incomplete paralysis.” After years of research and careful consideration she decided that the doctors in Panama have had the best results in new innovative stem cell therapy not available in the United States. Because she has experienced some movement in her legs, the doctors think she is the perfect candidate for the experimental procedure.

“I’m extremely gratified and humbled by the support of the community and efforts of the Knights in providing me the opportunity to go to Panama and have the chance to walk again,” said Ramirez. “I’m realistic but excited about my chances and have confidence in the doctors at the clinic where the procedure will be performed.”

Beatriz will be accompanied on her trip by her sister and her toddler. She will receive 14 spinal injections during the four-week procedure. Doctors hope to see results after the first few treatments.

Ramirez plans to return home on Dec. 12, just in time for the holidays.