Open Accessibility Menu

Unforgettable care

  • Author: Victoria Ojeda
  • Date Submitted: Sep 30, 2019
  • Category: Orthopedics

Victoria doesn’t remember the accident. She doesn’t remember the diesel truck driving directly in front of her or falling asleep at the wheel after working an eight-hour graveyard shift at the casino. She doesn’t remember the impact of her SUV smashing into the back of the diesel or her door being cut off by first responders in an effort to rescue her. There is a lot about the accident that Victoria doesn’t remember, but what she does remember is the care she received at Kaweah Health afterward.

“Everyone was so good to me and my family,” Victoria recalls. “The nurses treated me as if they were my mom. They told me to be strong and that I was going to be okay. They brought my family lunch and made sure my brother had a pillow and sheets at night when he slept by my bedside. I knew they were doing their best for me. They even brushed my hair.”

Besides the compassionate care she received from the nursing staff, Victoria remembers the trust she had in Dr. Seth Criner, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Kaweah Health, specializing in orthopedic trauma surgery. Victoria’s injuries were extensive and required three different surgeries to fix a dizzying number of injuries including broken ribs, an ankle, her pelvis and clavicle, a punctured spleen, and a fractured femur that would need a metal rod inserted to heal properly. In total, Victoria spent three weeks in the hospital, including a week and a half in the Intensive Care Unit.

“My family is the reason I got through it,” Victoria declared. “Without them, I wouldn’t have made it. I remember waking up in the ambulance and wondering what my family will do without me. I knew I had to get better. Dr. Criner is always upbeat and told me I could get through this. I’m thankful for him because I know if I had gone somewhere else, things would have ended different.”

Victoria continued, “Healing is all in your mindset. You have to be motivated to get up and do it and look at things like this is your second chance. Everybody is here for a reason and my family is my future. I’ll always remember how they took care of me in hard times, and I’m still here to take care of them.”