Erline is the Patient Advocate and Activity Coordinator at Kindred Tomball, and she shared that she was drawn to the medical field from an early age. This is her story of defying the odds.

"I began working as an orderly at Methodist Baytown in 1991, then I became a CNA and started doing home health" Erline said. "Then one morning in October of 1997 when I was driving to my first appointment my life was to be changed forever."

Erline1"I lost control of my car that morning and collided with a very big oak tree. I don't remember how it happened, or much of anything else, although I remember arriving at the hospital - and then nothing, until I woke up seven days later."

Erline said that her prognosis was extremely serious. "My trauma doctor told my mother that my liver was lacerated, and that I probably had at best 8 hours to live, but that the medical team would do everything they could to save me - and so they began a series of operations over the next few days. One of which was to remove the portion of my liver that was damaged."

"When I awoke I was covered in bandages and I had this massive wound - more like a crevasse - from the top of my chest all the way down below my navel. Over the next few weeks I experienced several setbacks as they tried to close the wound - even using skin they grafted from my leg. When my 15 year old was finally allowed to visit me she had to go through some counseling to understand what she would see because I was very swollen; probably 2 or 3 times my regular size - and I had tubes coming out of everywhere."

Erline2During the course of her recovery, Erline shared how staff was in awe of her progress. "I became a minor celebrity during my stay - doctors and interns came by every day to witness my rapid recovery, and in only 28 days I was released to go home with home health. I continued to return to the hospital weekly and over time my wound healed up thanks to the meticulous care I received. And now here I am - in great health and able to do what I love!"

"My experience and my faith have given me a unique perspective on caring for others - when I share my story it helps to motivate patients who are feeling down. It is amazing to see them get motivated to get up and work hard to get better. I like to tell them 'don't give in to illness - if you fight this you will overcome' - and when they do, the change is remarkable. As for me, I have to say, it was the power of prayer that got me and my family through this."

"I've been with Kindred now since 2001, I started out as a unit secretary, and I'm very proud because we do such great work - especially in wound care and rehab. It's so wonderful to see that the work we do at Kindred makes a big difference in people's lives - it's awesome!"

On behalf of our patients, thank you, Erline, for your wonderful care and compassion! All of us at Kindred Tomball are very fortunate to have you on our team.