On Easter Sunday 2022, Wendy Sanchez Rodriquez and Jonathan Barba went for a drive along the Angeles Crest Highway when something went wrong — terribly wrong. “What happened next is like a blur,” says Wendy, but one thing was certain: The couple had been in a serious car accident — and their lives hung in the balance.
Everything happened so fast. Wendy remembers another vehicle almost on top of their car. Paramedics came to the rescue, and Wendy and Jonathan were rushed to Huntington Hospital Trauma Center in a medevac helicopter. They both had life-threatening injuries, including stomach and intestinal damage and many broken bones.
“My next memory is of the bright lights of the operating room and asking for my husband,” says Wendy. Both she and Jonathan underwent extensive surgeries to repair damage to their bones, muscles and organs. Combined, they spent about a month in our critical care unit, before moving to one of our medical-surgical units. “Our doctors said they hadn’t seen a case as bad as us ever before,” says Wendy. “We’re very lucky to be alive!”
While they were facing the long road to recovery from this traumatic accident, Wendy and Jonathan knew they were in good hands, thanks to care from Huntington Health-affiliated physicians Andrew Singleton, MD, Amal Obaid-Schmid, MD, medical director of trauma services, Sanjeev Puri, MD, Ian Ross, MD, Edward Kwon, MD, and many others. “The doctors would check in with us each and every day, and it made us feel like they really cared,” says Jonathan.
After a lengthy hospital stay, the couple was finally ready to return home and begin their healing journey. “The recovery process has been difficult,” says Jonathan. “We’ve been fortunate to have had help and support from our family every step of the way.”
Today, Wendy and Jonathan are immensely grateful to be alive and are both looking forward to getting back to work — and to planning new adventures. “We want to start travelling more and doing things we normally wouldn’t do,” Wendy says. “Before, we would always put off vacations due to work, but the accident gave us the motivation to just go ahead and schedule trips and be open to new opportunities.”
While they do not remember many of the details of what happened that day, they do remember the quality of care they received at Huntington Hospital. “Huntington saved our lives,” says Wendy. “Telling our story is our way of saying thank you and paying back what they did for us. If anything were to happen to us in the future, it’s where we would want to go. I know we’re in great hands with Huntington.”
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