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Logan Square Church Raising Money to Help Injured Pastor Get Home

By Victoria Johnson | January 14, 2014 8:21am
 The Rev. Ramon Nieves with his wife, Yolanda.
The Rev. Ramon Nieves with his wife, Yolanda.
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Courtesy Nieves Family

LOGAN SQUARE — Though it's called the Humboldt Park United Methodist Church, it's been a community pillar in Logan Square for more than 80 years.

When the church was built at 2120 N. Mozart St. in 1929, the founder apparently thought he was in Humboldt Park, but that discrepancy hasn't stopped the church and its nonprofit services — including a men's shelter, food pantry and employment services — from becoming a vital source of support for those in need.

Now, however, it is the longtime pastor of this neighborhood institution who is in need.

According to friends and other community workers, the Rev. Ramon Nieves, 54, was on a volunteer mission trip with his wife, Yolanda, when on Friday he collapsed into a pool and was found unconscious — apparently underwater for several minutes before anyone found him.

"His family needs to raise $30,000 very quickly to pay for his transportation on a medical flight back to the United States for specialized care as soon as possible," friend and church member Delia Ramirez wrote in an email Nieves "is in critical condition on a ventilator and in an induced coma in a hospital in Guatemala City."

The family's insurance won't cover the specialized transportation back to Chicago — a flight with a special medical team on board.

In an email Monday afternoon, Nieves' eldest daughter, Yvonne Nieves, declined to comment further on the situation.

"At this time we do not have many details to share," she said.

In the meantime,the Logan Square Neighborhood Association has additional details on how people can help out.