Caddo Mills High School sophomore, Victoria Mendez, took her first steps months after suffering a severe concussion.
Mendez is a member of the JV women’s soccer team. It was during a soccer game against Mabank High School on February 15 that Mendez hit her head on the turf, causing trauma. She had to be carted off the field and taken to the hospital.
Doctors later diagnosed Mendez with a post-concussion syndrome known as Functional Neurological Disorder or FND.
Mendez spent weeks at the hospital after she lost the ability to walk. However, her mother, Karen Mendez said her daughter’s physical ability and mental health deteriorated after she was discharged from the hospital.
“It was really bad. She could not walk. She got to the point that the only thing she could use was her wheelchair,” Karen said. “She was having trouble using her walker, so she had gone down all the way just to the wheelchair. She was really frustrated that she was losing the ability to move more and more. Her knees were hurting really bad. It was just getting really, really tough on her.”
Less than a month ago, Victoria was finally cleared by her medical insurance provider to start therapy.
“She’s been in inpatient rehab for a little bit more than three weeks in Dallas at Children’s Hospital,” Karen said. “It’s a really hard program. When she was admitted, she wasn’t allowed to have her phone, wasn’t allowed to have any type of media or anything. It was really, really strict. She had no visitation at all when she was just in here by herself.”
The focus was to strengthen her body, and mind, and keep her grades up.
“It was crazy. It was really hard,” Victoria said.
“The only person that would really actually visit her was her teacher,” Karen said. “Her coach. He’s the one that kept helping her with her classes and moving school forward. And making sure she had all her classes done in time.”
Victoria was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday after completing her rehab therapy program.
“I had the support from my family and friends so, it was possible,” Victoria said.
“She’s amazing right now. She feels great,” Karen said. “She can walk on her own. She needs no assistance. I should actually even say she’s back to her normal self.”
Victoria was welcomed back home by her family, friends, teammates, and coaches.
“We tried to get as much of, you know, the people that have been after her and just praying for her and keeping her in her in their prayers and keeping up with her,” Karen said.
“I love how she never gives up,” Raymundo Gonzalez said. Gonzalez is Victoria’s uncle. “She has never lost hope and always put God first.”
While Victoria will have to continue with outpatient therapy, doctors have cleared her to start working out again.
“All she thinks about is that she wants to go back to soccer. There’s a school conditioning summer workout program, and she wants to do that,” Karen said. “She’s cleared to do that. They’re still holding back on contact sports, but she’s pretty much good to work out and be on her own.”
Victoria said she is looking forward to spending more time with her teammates.