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Supporting Rosa in Her Fight for Her Life

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After fighting for her freedom for 17 years, Rosa Jimenez continues to fight for her life.

Innocence Project client Rosa Jimenez spent nearly 18 years in prison in Texas, convicted of murder, following the tragic, accidental death of a child she was babysitting when she was just 21 years old. Her conviction was based on false and misleading testimony. While incarcerated, Rosa developed kidney disease—likely from overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, used as the prison’s panacea.

Her case was taken on by the Innocence Project and in 2021, her conviction was overturned after several of the nation’s leading pediatric airway doctors reviewed her case. The new medical evidence showed that no crime had occurred and the child had accidentally choked. In August 2023, the court formally dismissed the case based on her actual innocence.


However, like many others freed from wrongful convictions, Rosa continues to shoulder the lasting effects of years of incarceration. Among those, is the advanced Stage 5 chronic kidney disease she developed in prison. Just a year after her release, Rosa was forced to start dialysis, which she undergoes three times a week, and is one of the tens of thousands of people awaiting a kidney transplant.

In need of financial support for her kidney transplant

New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medicine Transplant Center in New York City is evaluating Rosa for a transplant — but she needs a living donor and financial support. (Please consider being a living donor. To see the donation screening process for Rosa, click here.)

The transplant would enable her to live a long, healthy life, and make up for the freedom she lost—including spending time with her son, who was born in jail and taken from her days later, and her daughter who was just one at the time. She has the full support of her loved ones, but funding is essential to securing the housing and additional support she needs throughout the transplant process.

Learn more about Rosa’s wrongful case:

In 2005, Rosa Jimenez was sentenced to 99 years in prison after a toddler she was babysitting tragically choked. Nearly 75% of women exonerated in the last three decades were wrongfully convicted of crimes that never took place at all, according to data from the National Registry of Exonerations — and more than a quarter of female exonerees were wrongly convicted, like Rosa, of harming a child in their care. Rosa’s conviction was based on false medical evidence. On Jan. 26, 2021, several of the nation’s top pediatric aerodigestive medical experts testified before the Travis County Court. They stated that their review of Rosa’s case and medical findings supported that the child’s death was accidental and Rosa had been wrongfully convicted of a crime that never occurred, refuting the faulty testimony that originally led to Rosa’s wrongful conviction.

That same day, a Travis County District Criminal Court Judge declared her conviction should be vacated and ordered that she be released, stating that “all ... of the medical evidence that is available to us at this time, suggests that Ms. Jimenez could not and did not commit this crime.”

“I could not even believe it until I just walked out the door… It was the first moment I felt it was true,” Rosa said after she was released. “It all seemed like a dream and it’s not.”
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Rosa Jimenez
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New York, NY

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