Angel V.

Angel V.

Six months ago, at the age of 19, Angel suffered a traumatic head injury while driving a car.

Fearing that help may not arrive in time, Angel managed to call 911 while driving himself and his injured passengers to the nearest hospital.

One block short of the emergency room, Angel fell unconscious. He suffered a massive head injury that almost took his life. These life threatening injuries would require numerous surgeries and procedures. Angel’s father recalled, “I remember the doctors saying he would probably never play sports again, and possibly never walk or talk again.”

His parents spoke of their fear and concerns due to the nature of their sons injuries. “He suffered so many injuries. After his craniotomy he was put in a medically-induced coma, on a ventilator and was looking at a high probability of paralysis,” said his mother. Angel’s family prepared themselves for the long journey ahead with prayers and family support.

The doctors’ recommended San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital (SJVRH). Angel’s parents were elated. “We heard to a lot of good things about this hospital and we were so thankful they had a bed available for our son,” recalled Angel’s father.

After weeks of physical, occupational, and speech therapy at SJVRH, Angel who entered the hospital doors, barely able to sit, talk, or walk, was now leaving walking with assistance and communicating. His parents proudly stated, “He’s a fighter.”

His physical therapist, Ivar, couldn’t have agreed more. Angel shared, “I would get tired and Ivar would keep pushing me telling me that I needed to prove the doctors wrong and walk again!” And he sure did!

Angel’s next journey was to undergo another surgery, a cranioplasty to return part of his skull removed after the incident. After the surgery, he continued to work hard to regain his strength.

Today, you can see Angel occasionally bouncing a ball during his outpatient therapy at SJVRH. Angel expressed his love of basketball. “I like watching Kevin Durant, he’s my favorite player,” said Angel. He also spoke of the recent NBA Championship games with the Golden State Warriors. “I was happy that I was able to watch an exciting series with my family.”

“A large part of Angel’s success was due to his family’s untiring support,” said Bobbie Muller, Chief Nursing Officer at SJVRH. “His mother’s relentless encouragement was phenomenal and helped play a huge part in his recovery.”

Everyone at SJVRH feels the same excitement as we watch Angel’s progress. He continues to inspire us each and every time we see him!

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