#EmmyStrong: The Road to Recovery Part I
Part I of Emmy Saenz's Road to Recovery
VICTORIA, Texas – Emmy Saenz was on her way to work when a vehicle seemingly coming out of nowhere and struck and hit the car she was driving. Saenz remembers hearing two loud bangs and being in and out of consciousness.
Saenz was transported from the crash to Houston’s Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center for treatment. While at the hospital doctor gave her the news.
“They were saying I would probably not be able to walk again, and I was paralyzed, and I just remember breaking down in tears because of course, that’s heartbreaking for anyone to go through,” Saenz said.
After being stabilized, Emmy was transferred to Houston’s TIRR hospital for rehabilitation where she stayed for weeks.
She’s been able to stay positive by connecting with other quadriplegics through online communities.
”I’ve met quite a few different people and all of us can relate really well and its really touching to meet other people and its inspiring, its really nice actually it gives me hope,” Saenz said.
Most importantly she knows she’s not alone, the transition has been extremely difficult.
”Before I didn’t even know the word quadriplegic before my accident and now I’m like, oh this is what that means, and this is like the definition of it so – I guess its new and its new learning about this whole experience and injury,” Saenz said.
An injury that comes with not just physical damage but also emotional stress and anxiety.
”Of course I get nervous going out in public because I don’t want all eyes on me, kind of being in a wheelchair its totally different from being able to walk but when I did went, there was actually almost nobody there at the salon, so it was pretty nice, it was like a VIP session, the whole experience of that was really great, it felt nice being able to be girly again and get out of the house and do something,” Saenz said.
Just two weeks before the wreck, Saenz had just started living on her own – a sense of independence that has been stripped away by her injuries.
”The most challenging thing is my dependence,” Saenz said. “I guess not having my mom or somebody there every single day like 24 hours throughout the clock to help me do everything has been the hardest thing.”
We checked in with Saenz a few months after her accident to see her progress. Her mother Rosemary Bazan says physical therapy has been a key part of her recovery and hopes of regaining mobility in her legs and arms.
”So right now, physical therapy is going okay, I’m not seeing the progress that we were seeing when she was going to physical therapy at TIRR Memorial Hermann,” Bazan said. “A lot of the activities or exercises and stretches that they do for her at physical therapy, I’m able to do those at home, as well as we’ve gotten some other equipment for home that we are able to do that they are not able to do at therapy so because it is a challenge, most often my challenge is to get her in and out of the vehicle and there times when I don’t have assistance with that so I’ve really considered maybe seeing if we could get physical therapy come to our home rather than us having to constantly go to a facility for therapy, especially since a lot of the therapy that she gets, I do a lot at home with her.”
And alternative forms of therapy, like water therapy, have drawn Bazan’s interest.
“Going forward, my hope to being able to get her into water therapy where I can hopefully I can find a facility to accommodate her and able to have her in a standing position in the water,” Bazan said. “Start getting her legs moving in the water. Those are all things that doing outside of water are impossible and so far I can’t find a facility that can accommodate outside of water walking just to keep the leg muscles functioning and to keep them from deteriorating without using your muscles they do shrink and I’ve noticed that Emmy has had some muscle shrinkage in her legs and that’s something that I don’t want to see happening especially quickly because our hopes for the future is that since she has an incomplete injury maybe there is an opportunity with enough persistence and enough working hard that she can regain some leg function and we need her muscles to stay strong for that so my hope for the future is hopefully soon we’ll be able to start with water therapy.”
With a long road ahead and newfound physical limitations, Bazan said she hopes her daughter is able to stay positive and confident about herself.
”As a mom, I hope that Emmy finds a purpose with her limited abilities I hope she finds something that she can do, and do well,” Bazan said. “She’s got a lot of life in her, she’s got a lot of character, she’s a very determined young lady, I know there is some kind of career or something that she can do that she can do well, we just have to find what those strengths are and build on that.”
Saenz and her family are still in need of funds for a new manual wheelchair that has a smart drive motor which costs approximately $10,000. Insurance won’t cover the cost of her wheelchair. The family also needs to repair their driveway because it has many cracks that makes it unsafe when trying to get Emmy in and out of the car using the Hoyer as it gets stuck in the cracks. To donate visit or call Prosperity Bank and make a deposit into the ‘Emmy Saenz Benefit’ account. Anything you can contribute will help Emmy and her family tremendously.
Prosperity Bank is located at 101 S. Main Street, and you can call them at 361-573-6321.
Tune in Friday for Part II of Saenz’s Road to Recovery or view it online here.
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