Celeste Marquez

Celeste Marquez is a lovely young woman who earned a degree in elementary teaching and has dedicated her time working in a daycare center. She had just moved to Louisiana with her husband of four months and was very excited for the promising journey ahead.

After Thanksgiving passed, Celeste and her husband traveled to Houston, Texas in an attempt to put a dent in their Christmas shopping. After a full day at the mall, they began their long drive home. Celeste offered to drive so her husband could rest before his work shift the next day. While she was driving, the sun began to set. The roads were narrow, unfamiliar, and it was pitch black. She remembered praying to God, “Please get us home safely.”

A month later, Celeste woke up in the hospital to learn she and her husband were in a horrific accident. A pick-up truck veered into their lane, hitting them head-on. Their vehicle spun out, causing two more vehicles to hit them. The lower half of Celeste’s body got twisted and stuck between the seat and middle console; her husband died instantly.

Everything was very overwhelming for Celeste when she initially woke up. She found out that she lost her life partner and that she was in a medically induced coma for some time. During that time, Celeste had multiple surgeries and had her right leg amputated. Over the next two years, Celeste endured even more surgeries. She went in and out of the hospital, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation facilities.

Over time, Celeste became independent with her wheelchair but wanted to advance into using a prosthetic. To accomplish this goal, she needed to have yet another surgery, this time on her left knee. This surgery led her to transfer to San Joaquin Valley Rehab Hospital for intensive rehabilitation.

“Having another surgery put me back physically and mentally. With all the staff here, from my doctor to the nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists, I was never alone. They not only helped me with my physical needs but also my mental,” Celeste explained.

In just a month, Celeste saw great progress and excelled in her recovery. When she first arrived, she could hardly move, let alone have someone assist her due to the pain she felt. She had only ten degrees flexion in her foot, but now she has 51 degrees active flexion and can walk up to 103 feet and counting! Celeste gets dressed, transfers, and can stand with assistance.

“Because of my physical therapist and occupational therapist pushing me and working on me every day, I am able to be where I am today. Because of SJVRH, I found my strength, courage, and confidence again.”