Samantha Zarazua

At age 21, Samantha Zarazua was excited to start the next phase of her life at university. She enjoyed playing sports and liked to tap into her creative side with different projects. Then, her path in life was completely derailed when she was involved in a severe motor vehicle accident.

As a passenger in the car, Samantha sustained several serious injuries and had no recollection of what happened before or during the accident. She was rushed to the hospital. Unable to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator, she was admitted to the ICU. There, Samantha underwent several procedures to repair serious injuries to her major organs.

After being in the hospital for over a week, Samantha was transferred to Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital. She was nervous to start her recovery because she was unable to move at all. But with the staff’s support, Samantha worked hard and focused on her goals. “I am ready to be able to play tennis again, walk, and paint!”

Although she won’t be able to walk until her hip heals, Samantha has made great progress. After three weeks, she is now able to do simple things such as move her arms, touch her face, and move one of her legs. Her progress brings her joy and motivation to continue recovering.

Before the accident, Samantha had just signed up for university classes. She shares, “Now more than ever I am anxious to finish school and become a physical therapist.”  When asked why she chose physical therapy, she explained that she had been interested in that profession since high school. She also experienced the world of therapy first hand after being treated at Highlands.

“Everyone at Highlands gave me excellent care, but I truly admired how the physical therapy department took care of each other and their patients. They are family amongst themselves, a true team. They have such good energy and you want to do better just for them! They don’t give up on anyone! I am very fortunate to be alive.”