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Erika Martinez

Erika Martinez and her daughter, Roxana, had settled in for the evening. They were sprawled on the floor putting together a puzzle when Erika heard a car alarm. She had a new vehicle, so she didn’t recognize the alarm, but checked anyway and saw a man driving away in her car. Without a thought, she ran outside, grabbed the car door and didn’t let go. The car thief never slowed down, dragging her into the street and running over both her legs.

More embarrassed and mad, than scared, Erika pulled herself to the curb where an onlooker, more hysterical than Erika, called 911. EMTs took her to the emergency center at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital where she was quickly evaluated and sent to surgery to repair her fractured foot. She was in the hospital five days and received physical therapy for three months.

“I love LBJ,” Erika says. “I like the doctors. They explained everything to me while I was in the hospital and every time I returned for a follow-up visit.”

Though she didn’t recognize it at the time, she now knows she became depressed. Accustomed to being independent and active, she could not stand for long periods and could not work. Eventually, she, Roxana and her new son moved in with Erika’s parents where they are enjoying their new life.

Erika feels blessed. “I have the best luck. The thief could have had a gun, I could have fallen differently and been paralyzed, my daughter could have lost her mom and I wouldn’t have my son. Because of my good luck and the excellent care, I’m here today to enjoy my family and friends.”

Erika never saw that car again, but she has a new one. And she has a new attitude. “If anyone wants to steal this car, I’m willing to hand over the keys.”