Lilieth's Story

Lilieth Sanchez and her family.

Traumatic brain injury

Lilieth "Lili" Sanchez’s life changed forever, when she was involved in an ATV accident. While attending a family barbecue, the 29-year-old mother decided to join others for a ride. She lost control of her vehicle and crashed. She wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Lili was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, underwent multiple surgeries to repair a broken jaw and other injuries, experienced vision loss, and was placed in a medically induced coma.

When Lili emerged from the coma and her condition stabilized, she was transferred to a long-term care hospital for medical monitoring to help prepare her for the long journey ahead. Her family researched rehabilitation hospitals in the region and connected with a clinical liaison from Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (BSWIR) - Dallas, who provided them with the information and understanding they were seeking.

Lili and her husband, Edwin, also appreciated that the Baylor Scott & White organization was founded on Christian principles. Before the accident, the couple were active in their church, attending services regularly and volunteering often. It was through faith that Lili knew recovery was possible.

When Lili arrived at BSWIR-Dallas hospital in mid-May, she had limited mobility, right-side weakness, balance issues, cognitive deficits and profound vision loss. A physician-led team of therapists put together a treatment plan to address her complex needs.

Physical therapists focused on improving Lili’s balance, endurance and coordination through extensive gait training sessions. Because of her vision difficulties, the team also incorporated sight cane education to help her navigate confidently and independently. In occupational therapy, Lili progressed in all areas of self-care, transferring between surfaces and regaining the ability to tolerate different activities. Edwin was present for nearly every therapy session and received instruction from the therapists on how to assist Lili once she went home.

Lili worked with the hospital’s speech-language pathologists to restore her cognitive abilities. Each day, they challenged her with a range of tasks and multi-step exercises with increasing difficulty to improve her vocabulary, memory and comprehension. They also provided Edwin with strategies he could use to help Lili increase her memory and problem-solving skills.

"Don’t ever lose hope in Jesus."

Nearly three months after the accident, including four weeks of intense inpatient rehabilitation, Lili was able to return home. She transitioned to Baylor Scott & White’s specialized Day Neuro Program, where she continues to hone her physical and cognitive strengths and abilities.