Apolonia Gallegos

Returning from a road trip to California, Apolonia Gallegos was involved in a devastating motor vehicle accident. Ejected through the windshield, Apolonia suffered head injuries. She was taken to a trauma center near Provo, Utah, where she stayed for about two weeks. In addition to Apolonia’s traumatic brain injury, she suffered liver and kidney lacerations, bilateral wrist fractures, and a jaw fracture. She required a ventilator to breathe until she could undergo jaw surgery. Upon completion of the surgery, she weaned from the ventilator and had a trach collar placed.

Once stabilized, Apolonia transferred to Vibra Hospital of Denver. The staff at Vibra was ready to get the 19-year-old back into the community. Unresponsive at first, Apolonia soon began to open her eyes and slowly start to communicate with her family. Her mother and father showed so much love and support throughout her recovery. Their support would prove to be a key factor in Apolonia’s recovery.

Because of the impact family support has on a patient’s recovery, the family experience is prioritized at Vibra. Apolonia’s parents were very appreciative of that fact. “Sara [Apolonia’s case manager] was amazing with her emotional support and helping facilitate our getting Medicaid for Apolonia” her mother said. Similar sentiments were echoed regarding Apolonia’s care team. “The nurses and CNAs all went above and beyond to make sure she was taken care of.” From doing Apolonia’s hair to encouraging her to keep working hard, the staff was committed to creating a healing environment.

Once Apolonia progressed to the point her trach could be removed, she was ready for the next step in her recovery. Apolonia discharged to a skilled nursing facility where she had continued to heal. When visited by several of the Vibra staff, Apolonia offered a friendly wave. Her progress has inspired the whole staff at Vibra as a reminder of the importance of their work.