Posted by Divya Sathyanarayanan
Celebrating your birthday in a hospital can certainly put a damper on celebrations. The staff members at Chalet, CHA HPMC’s long term care unit, took the time to make patient Salvador Barrios feel special on his big day. As CHA HPMC has limited visitation to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Salvador received a special birthday surprise from his family from a safe distance away.
In February this year, Salvador was in a car accident which caused severe brain injury. He underwent brain surgery at a local hospital and was then transferred to Chalet in May to receive long- term care. “The accident caused serious nerve damage. His mouth and tongue have been impacted and he is unable to swallow food,” explains Elena Barrios, his wife. Our care team at Chalet works with Salvador to help him achieve highest possible level of well-being. “It’s been really difficult as I have not been able to spend much time with him after the accident, due to COVID-19 and the strict visitation rules,” she says. The two have three beautiful daughters. But spending Salvador’s birthday away from him was very emotional for her and their daughters. That’s when Salvador’s sister came up with a plan to surprise him on his birthday. She teamed up with Salvador’s care team at Chalet to arrange a special visit from his family.
Elena, her daughters, and a big group of family and friends paid him a visit and came outside Chalet to celebrate from a safe distance away. Salvador was wheeled to see his family and was very happy to see the birthday posters, flowers, and balloons to cheer him on his special day. “He is 36 years old, but still likes to celebrate his birthday every year with a cake and dinner with family. Even though we couldn’t get him back home, we knew this celebration would make him happy. It was good to continue the tradition and fulfill his wish of celebrating his birthday every year,” says Elena, describing the special moment.
It’s been almost three months since his treatment began at Chalet and Salvador is making good progress in his journey to recovery. “He is a positive person and is always on the go. He is never the kind of person to give up. I know he must be eager to get back on his feet and be with his family and we can’t wait to have him back,” says Elena.
We wish Salvador a speedy recovery to celebrate many more birthdays with his loving family.
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