FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was a courtroom victory for the grandmother of the young man who inspired "Adam's Law" over a decade ago.
A Fresno judge granted her conservatorship of the 18-year-old.
The brain injury he suffered as a baby led to the law that makes sentences longer for child abusers.
Marie Alvarez-Garcia sat in a Fresno courtroom anxiously listening for the words she's waited to hear for nearly a year. That's how long it's been since she filed legal forms and other paperwork to become her grandson Adam's conservator.
Adam's life was forever changed the day after his first birthday in 2004 when Ramon Curiel violently shook him.
Adam's grandmother has dedicated her life to the now 18-year-old who can't walk, talk or eat on his own.
This conservatorship grants her the legal right to make decisions for Adam.
"It feels like victory, like I won the lottery because we've been waiting for this for so long. It has affected the medical care for Adam, his school and everything that affects his life because he's considered an adult," said Alvarez-Garcia.
Alvarez-Garcia says she ran into challenges along the way -- which included finding a lawyer.
But together with help from legal analyst Tony Capozzi, Action News found an attorney to take on the case Pro bono
"Grateful for the attorney Stan Teixeira and the court for granting it, and Channel 30 because it was you guys who made everything happen. No words can express my gratitude," Alvarez-Garcia said.
Adam's grandmother says he has his good days and bad days while dealing with daily seizures but its his thirst for life that motivates her.
"He teaches me so much, no matter what and in spite of the heartaches and hardships, life keeps going and you smile, there's life," she said.
Doctors told the family Adam wouldn't make it to his sixth birthday but here he is at 18.
Although his health is rapidly deteriorating, Alvarez-Garcia is determined to provide Adam with the best life possible.
She says this conservatorship is a critical step toward ensuring he gets the right care.
"Without the judge's orders, there's not advocating for people like Adam that can't speak for themselves, can't take care of themselves, can't advocate for themselves and that's the important part."