'Idol' contestant, fiancee stick together through tragedy

February 10, 2011 8:48:27 AM PST
Chris Medina, a hometown contestant on ''American Idol,'' has a lot of supporters -- and not just because of his talent.

Medina has stood by his fiancee, Juliana Ramos, who was severely injured in a car accident last year. She was hurt just months before their wedding. While they didn't marry, they have stuck together through good times and bad.

Medina's family and friends filled a restaurant Wednesday night to watch him on the show, but his first priority was looking after Ramos. She gets around in a wheelchair after suffering a brain injury in a car accident just months before she was to be married.

"This is what he is. He is just that nice. You will see it come out more and more as people see him on TV and they talk to him. But really there's no act here, it is really him," said Lori Rago, Ramos' aunt.

"They are people that other people should look up to, they should get inspired by them," said Toula Spencer, Ramos' aunt.

Medina is a talented musician who got national attention during his American Idol audition, bringing judge Steven Tyler to tears when he introduced Juliana.

The show prompted support to help Juliana's medical treatment through the Laurus Foundation which is hopeful of a continued recovery.

The restaurant is donating a portion of sales from Wednesday's event to the fund as well. But most importantly for Juliana, watching Chris having success on the show so far has provided a boost.

"Now ever since this started happening, she is smiling more randomly whereas she didn't use to do that," said Sarah Mitchell, Ramos' friend.

"I think it's been just the thing that she's needed to motivate her, that other people really believe that things are going to be different. That she really is going to get well," said Susan Knickerbocker, Ramos' caregiver.

The family plans to continue holding viewing parties and fundraisers through the duration of the American Idol season. And they're hoping that Medina is on the show until the very end.