Veronica Cabrera

One hot summer day, Veronica Cabrera and her children visited her parent’s home to gather and beat the heat. She intended to relax in the pool, but after a short 30 minutes, an overwhelmingly uneasy feeling came over her. Veronica attempted to climb the stairs to exit the pool and noticed a struggle on her right side. Once out of the pool, Veronica noticed some discoloration on her thighs. Thinking perhaps she was falling ill to the heat, Veronica decided to lay down for a nap. She fell asleep briefly before heading to the kitchen for a drink. At this point, Veronica found herself slurring and losing her balance upon walking, ultimately causing her to fall to the ground. She felt awful and just wanted to go home to sleep.

As Veronica and her children left, her mother pulled Veronica’s daughter aside. “Drive your mother to the nearest hospital,” she instructed. When they arrived at the emergency room, Veronica was immediately admitted and treated for a stroke.

Thankfully, Veronica had arrived in time. Her care team administered a clot-busting medication that would help stop the quickly progressing effects of the stroke. The clinical team noted that if Veronica had gone home and taken a nap, as she had planned, she would have likely died.

The severity of Veronica’s stroke was significant, leaving Veronica to face a tremendous journey ahead. Veronica’s stroke left her paralyzed on one side and unable to do anything for herself. As a result, her care team strongly recommended a transfer to San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital.

Veronica was admitted to SJVRH and spent two weeks working hard in the rehabilitation hospital’s CARF-accredited stroke specialty program. In that short time, Veronica regained movement in her entire body. She was thrilled to market on her phone, shower independently, feed herself, walk, and do her makeup.

Veronica’s next goals are to write, return to work, and resume exercising at the gym. Because her experience at SJVRH was so exceptional, Veronica chose to work on this next set of goals with the hospital’s outpatient therapy program. “Your physical therapy department is, by far, the most loving, family-oriented, well-educated, and gentle around,” she stated.

Veronica’s advice to others experiencing a stroke in the Fresno area? “Go to San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital because you will get the help you need. It is life-giving.”