Maria Antunez-Salgado

Before her hospitalization, Maria Antunez-Salgado was a vibrant 66-year-old woman who lived independently in her apartment. She was deeply family-oriented, cherishing the time she spent with her grandchildren and her elderly parents, aged 91 and 95. Maria’s life was filled with activity and purpose, driven by her strong faith in God.

However, Maria’s world suddenly turned upside down when she was hospitalized due to complications from a procedure to treat liver cysts. She developed a bile leak, which was mitigated by a stent, but further complications arose, including an esophageal tear and a gallbladder abscess. Dual chest tubes were placed, and Maria found herself struggling with even the most basic tasks.

Recognizing the need for specialized care, Maria transferred to Vibra Hospital of Richardson, a critical care hospital. At Vibra, she would receive the acute care necessary to regain her strength and work towards her ultimate goal of returning to her independent lifestyle.

Maria’s journey at Vibra was marked by determination and faith. Upon arrival, she required extensive assistance with all activities of daily living, moderate assistance with bed mobility and standing, and could not walk. Her balance was poor, but her spirit remained unbroken.

The staff’s constant encouragement became the fuel for her recovery. Maria particularly praised Sarah, the day-time nurse, Jackie from the night shift, and the entire therapy staff for impacting her motivation and recovery. Under their guidance, Maria made significant progress in her rehabilitation.

Driven by her love for her family and deep faith in God, Maria pushed herself in every therapy session. Her definition of success was clear — to regain her independence and return to her daily life, praising God and spending time with her loved ones.

As Maria’s strength improved, she became more capable with each passing day. By the time of her discharge, she had made remarkable progress. She could groom herself with standby assistance, manage toileting with minimal assistance, and perform upper body activities of daily living with contact guard assist. Maria could even ambulate 50 feet with contact guard assist using a front-wheeled walker and sit in a chair for over an hour.

Looking ahead, Maria wants to use her experience to help others. “Now that God gave me another chance, I want to tell my story, praise Him, and love my family,” she stated. She looks forward to spending more time with her family, especially her children, grandchildren, and elderly parents.

Maria’s journey from a patient requiring extensive assistance to one on the verge of returning to her independent lifestyle is a testament to her resilience, the quality of care at Vibra Hospital of Richardson, and the power of faith and determination. As she continues to receive additional therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility, Maria carries with her the progress she made at Vibra and the joy she brought to those who worked with her. Her story serves to inspire others facing similar challenges, reminding them that remarkable recoveries are possible with faith, determination, and the right support.