Amaya Hernandez

Out for a ride on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle, Amaya Hernandez and her boyfriend, Brandon, were struck by a car coming in the opposite direction. The vehicle hit them head-on while attempting to pass the car in front of them, an error that would change Amaya’s life forever. The collision resulted in Amaya losing her leg and Brandon losing his life.

Following the accident, Amaya was rushed to Community Regional Medical Center, where she stayed until she was stable enough to transfer to San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital (SJVRH). At SJVRH, Amaya would learn to utilize a wheelchair as part of the hospital’s Phase I amputee program. Upon completion of the Phase I program, Amaya discharged home for several months while she awaited a prosthetic leg.

The return home after her first stay was very hard for Amaya. In addition to mourning, Amaya was now wheelchair-bound, which made her feel stuck. But the future was filled with hope. Five months later, Amaya returned to SJVRH for the Phase II amputee program. Phase II of the program focuses on intensive inpatient prosthetic training.

“The first time I was here, I was on a lot of pain meds,” Amaya recalled. “A lot of it is foggy but I do remember everybody and did remember the environment being really nice. So, I was actually excited to come back.”

“I had already been messing around with [my prosthetic] at home, and I was a little worried because it is hard. But luckily they are helping me here because I could not walk on my own.”

Having her prosthetic gives Amaya hope that she will be able to get back to a normal life.

“Everyone has been so positive, it’s really nice to have that encouragement, I feel like that made a big difference.”

With the support of family and friends, Amaya continued to press on with a “can do” attitude, patiently awaiting the ability to ditch her wheelchair, go back to work, and enjoy life to the fullest in memory of Brandon.

“You have to come here (to SJVRH) because I feel it’s all so genuine, people really do care, and everyone jumps in and gives tips.”