On October 10, 2003 Dean Witt went into David Grant Medical on Travis AFB in Fairfield, CA with severe abdominal pains. He was turned away twice. Once with antibiotics. The same day he dialed 911 and collapsed in base housing.

He was diagnosed with appendicitis. After surgery his airway closed off. The medical team tried to use pediatric equipment to revive a 25 year old man. It was estimated he went with oxygen for 12-15 minutes. Leaving him irreparable brain damage.

Neurologist claimed Dean was in PVS Persistent Vegetative State. His family made the difficult and heartbreaking decision to remove his feeding tube. He died January 9, 2004; 3 months after the initial surgery.

He is survived by his wife Alexis Lopez Witt. And his two children Hannah and Noah. Whom at the time were ages 18 months and 4 months old. The family cannot sue for their loss due to a 50 year old military law the Feres Doctrine.

The Lopez family continues to fight to amend this doctrine to allow equal rights for military members and their families to sue for injuries or death due to gross negligence.