Vanessa Gonzales


I am 34 and this was the second time I got septic shock. I was battling a UTI left and right. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections). Antibiotics were not working. I developed a mass in my stomach that they said was nothing but related to gastroparesis. In fact, it was infection growing in my belly. It was hard and a size of a ball.

The day it hit hard, I lost function in my legs and hand. I soon ended up coding and swallowing my own vomit causing pneumonia. I ended up on breathing machines and in a coma. The day I woke up was hard. I didn’t understand what was going on. I was in pain, confused, hallucinating. I couldn’t use my hands or feet. My family helped me get through the tough times.

The day they took the breathing machine off was a day I will never forget, my son’s birthday. He was turning 16 and was on his way to see me. It was a very emotional day. I was like a kid, lost, confused and kept repeating myself, my son’s coming today, it’s his birthday, and I told it to anyone I came in contact with.

I was sent home weeks later thinking yes home but they don’t tell you how hard it is. You don’t have the nurses to call when you need something or have an accident. Instead you have a husband who is tired and has to be up at 4 in the morning and works 10 hours and has to come home, clean ,make dinner and tend to you. It puts a strain. When I came home, I had no function in my feet or hands. I could barely hold my head up. I was in a wheelchair and often had accidents and I had to be showered more than 5x a day. It was close to hell. I have not stopped fighting. I still have some trouble with my hands and feet but I’m more independent and has eased up the load. I am a survivor.