It has been more than a month since Caddo Mills High School sophomore Victoria Mendez suffered a severe concussion during a football game against Mabank High School on Feb. 15. Mendez is a member of the JV women’s soccer team.
Mendez spent several weeks in the hospital after she lost the ability to walk. Doctors diagnosed her with a functional neurological disorder. Known as FND, this is a post-concussion syndrome that can lead to unexpected symptoms.
According to Mendes, she has spent most of the last few weeks at home.
“Basically I sit here on the couch all day and that’s it,” Mendes said. “Before all this, I was very independent. I would, you know, get ready, take a shower, brush my teeth and, like, do my hair, get up alone, go to school. And now, like, I’m struggling to do it all. I have to ask my mom for a lot of help. I don’t go to school anymore. I don’t play sports.”
Mendez can stand with the support of a walker.
“I’m not very good at walking, but I can, for example, move around with him,” Mendez said.
However, Mendes said that since she was released from the hospital, she has regressed.
“I should seriously think about it and then do fuerzaMendes said. Fuersa Spanish for strength.
Her mother, Karen Mendez, said that Victoria was unable to start therapy due to paperwork and clearance required by their health insurance company.
“It’s difficult. It’s not easy. I try to stay on the positive side,” Victoria said.
Her family made changes to the house, including a makeshift wooden ramp for her wheelchair.
“They always help me. I’m so grateful because I know it’s not easy to see me like this. And I know they want the best for me, so I just want to thank them,” Victoria said.
Victoria is also grateful for the support and monetary donations from her coaches, teammates and her football community and the Caddo Mills community.
“It was like a big blessing. I was really amazed. You know, a girl like me received a lot of help and support, for example, from strangers, my coaches, school, people all over the world, ”said Victoria.
Last weekend Victoria joined her team during the home game against Mabank. She was greeted with hugs and flowers.
Although she is grateful for the constant support, her voice breaks and tears roll down her face as she copes with the changes in her physical abilities. Victoria said she sought the advice of a mental health expert.
“Therapy helps a lot. It seems that you will stay like this forever, but it’s not. You get better and look at positive things. Because when you look at the negative moments, it’s hard, ”said Victoria.
Victoria hopes that soon her health insurance will give the green light to receive the necessary physical support.
Victoria’s GoFundMe, hosted by Caddo Mills High School women’s football head coach Mike Campell, remains open. All proceeds will go directly to the Mendez family to help cover hospital bills, transportation and other expenses, Campbell said.