Video and Audio

inewsource captured more than 30 hours of video for “An Impossible Choice.” Medical staff and families shared their experiences, assessments and opinions with us. Spend some time with the mini-documentary, which aired on PBS’ NewsHour, and video vignettes videographer Brad Racino prepared for this project. Listen to the radio version of an “An Impossible Choice” — written, recorded and produced by Joanne Faryon — which aired on KPBS FM.

Impossible Choice on the radio:

An Impossible Choice, Part One

by Joanne Faryon | KPBS Morning Edition

An Impossible Choice, Part Two

by Joanne Faryon | KPBS Morning Edition

John Doe on life support may be woman's missing brother

by Joanne Faryon | KPBS Morning Edition

Elsa Burlaza’s last memory from inewsource on Vimeo.

Elsa Burlaza, Pepito’s daughter, recalls her last memory of her father before he passed away.

Pepito’s Funeral from inewsource on Vimeo.

The Burlaza family attends Pepito Burlaza’s funeral.

The Burlaza family and DNR from inewsource on Vimeo.

The Burlaza family discusses Pepito Burlaza’s Do Not Resuscitate order, which it turns out — was never signed.

Paulina and Pepito Burlaza from inewsource on Vimeo.

Paulina Burlaza visits her husband, Pepito, in a nursing home in El Cajon, CA.. Pepito lived here 10 years in a vegetative state before dying of cardiac arrest in April, 2014.

Steve Simmons’ breakdown from inewsource on Vimeo.

Steve Simmons, whose wife Rafaela suffered a brain injury and has lived at Villa Coronado for the past four years, recalls a time when the despair of his situation drove him to the brink.


The unit from inewsource on Vimeo.

Marc Steingart, a social worker at Villa Coronado, describes typical residents of the California subacute unit.


Dr. Ken Warm on tracheostomies from inewsource on Vimeo.

Dr. Ken Warm, the chief of medicine at Villa Coronado, reflects on what it means for a patient to have a tracheostomy.

Dr. Ken Warm and advance directives from inewsource on Vimeo.

Dr. Ken Warm from Villa Coronado says he had nightmares about not having an advance directive.

Rafaela Simmons in bed from inewsource on Vimeo.

Rafaela Simmons is a minimally-conscious resident at Villa Coronado. She suffered a severe brain injury after a motorcycle accident four years ago.

Dr. Jay Rosenberg on inconsistent responses from inewsource on Vimeo.

Jay Rosenberg, a neurologist, explains the difference between levels of consciousness as they relate to vegetative patients.

Nancy Curcio on Maria’s inability to speak from inewsource on Vimeo.

Nancy Curcio, Maria Curcio’s mother, talks about how painful it is to never have heard her daughter speak.

Nancy Curcio at home from inewsource on Vimeo.

Nancy Curcio, Maria Curcio’s mother, shows a few of Maria’s possessions and tells a story about Maria’s childhood.

Maria Curcio uses her board from inewsource on Vimeo.

Maria Curcio, who has lived in the Villa Coronado subacute nursing home for the past 10 years, tries to use her spelling board to communicate with her mother Nancy.

Nancy Curcio lists her daughter’s medical problems from inewsource on Vimeo.

Nancy Curcio describes Maria’s medical problems, including a contracted hip and kidney stones.

Joan Teno on the Medi-Cal spend down. from inewsource on Vimeo.

Joan Teno, director of The Gerontology and Healthcare Research Center at Brown Medical School, talks about what it means to spend down one’s savings to qualify for Medi-Cal..

Maria Curcio from inewsource on Vimeo.

Maria Curcio has lived at the Villa Coronado subacute unit in San Diego for the past 10 years.

Nurse crushing pills from inewsource on Vimeo.

A nurse fills a prescription at Villa Coronado subacute unit, using a pill crusher to turn the pills into a powder that can be inserted in a feeding tube.