Patient Story: ChristiAnn Gutierrez

After a car accident, ChristiAnn’s road to recovery required physical and mental care.

Through Parkland’s care, ChristiAnn has a better understanding of her mental health, and a greater appreciation for life.

For people who live through a traumatic injury, the healing process can go on long after the initial recovery. This was certainly true for ChristiAnn years after experiencing a horrific car accident.

ChristiAnn suffered from a brain injury that required her to relearn how to walk, talk and eat. But that was just the start of her recovery. Five years later she experienced a brain bleed that resulted in seizures and partial paralysis. It took a toll on her physically and mentally.

“I was tired and in pain and had lost my independence,” she said. “In a moment of weakness, I thought maybe I didn’t need to live anymore.” ChristiAnn became isolated and depressed. But she refused to give in. After sharing her suicidal thoughts with her primary care physician, ChristiAnn was referred to a psychologist at Parkland, Rebecca Corona, PhD.

Parkland is one of only two large facilities in the D/FW area providing emergency psychiatric services, which include comprehensive psychiatric exams, ongoing care, group therapy, individual therapy and social work services. Services are also provided in Parkland’s network of community health centers.

Through Parkland’s care, ChristiAnn fought her way back from hopelessness to a new normal where she has a better understanding of her mental health, and a greater appreciation for life.

“Dr. Corona gave me the information I needed to learn to work with my illness,” said ChristiAnn. “She helped me understand the mind-body connection and that if you can get clarity in your mind, you can approach your illness in a different way.”

ChristiAnn credits Parkland for helping her gain a new perspective on life. “I approach life differently now, taking one day at a time, setting boundaries and having compassion for myself,” she said. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without Parkland. Parkland helped save my life.”

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