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Chris Arredondo

I "met" Chris through my Occupational Therapist with Collage. She has had the benefit of working with him twice; in post recovery therapy and back for return-to-work training. What a blessing it is to see his story play out.

Tell me about your background (job, community service, kiddos, family, where you're from, etc)

My name is Chris Arredondo. I am married to Dora. We have been married for 44 years. We have 3 adult children. Audrey is 47, Isaac is 38, and Michael is 36. Dora and I raised our children in Irving, Texas. I have lived in Irving for over 38 years.

I have done many jobs. I have been a machinist, a box truck driver, and concrete truck driver.

When was your stroke or brain injury?

My brain injury was on September 21, 2021

What caused your stroke or brain injury?

I had been employed for 4 months driving a concrete truck. I was driving in Roanoke. I was driving the concrete truck, when I drove around a corner, and one of the back tires went into a pothole. The pothole caused the concrete truck to tip over on the driver’s side. The window on the driver’s side was broken and would not roll up. When the concrete truck tipped over onto the driver’s side, my head hit the road and caused my brain injury.

Where in your brain was your stroke or brain injury?

My injury was not specific to one side of my brain. My injury was throughout my whole brain.

I was in a coma for 30 days. I was on a ventilator for 21 days. I was still in a coma when I got off the ventilator.

I barely opened my eyes. I responded to a nurse’s question. And then he verbally answered his wife’s question.

What injuries did you have as a result of the stroke/brain injury?

Right foot drop. I wear a light-weight AFO to help my foot move. I continue to have a little short term memory loss.

I have made significant progress since my brain injury. I was not able to walk, talk, or take care of myself.

I was at Baylor Rehab, NTC and in June of 2022 I began Collage Home and Community Therapy. I was with Collage until November 2022.

I have made so much progress that insurance asked Collage to come back in and help me transition to return to driving and return to working activities.

How are you working to get stronger?

I'm still completing my leg exercises to strengthen my right leg. Collage has helped me find a volunteer position. I volunteer at the Midwest Food Bank 12 hours a week. This is a Christian Food Bank Warehouse that distributes food to up to 4 states. I have been volunteering there since the end of June. I pick individual orders, load pallets with boxed foods, shrink wrap pallets, load and unload trucks using a pallet jack, and mop the floor with an industrial floor cleaner like a mini-zambino. I have been helping instruct large groups of volunteers on how to bag products. Volunteering has increased my strength, endurance, memory, and has given me opportunities to be with other people.

What about your stroke or brain injury has inspired you or others?

Others have stated I am a miracle! Others have seen their prayers be answered. My recovery is a result of their prayers and God’s hand on my life. Others see prayer works. Every day is a new day and I am getting better. My healing is happening more every day. I am doing things I did not think I would be able to do after my brain injury. Like being able to walk up/down the stairs, mow and/take care of the yard, drive again and soon I will be working part-time.

Thank you, Chris, for sharing your story with us. It is inspirational to see you giving your time to others. We wish you well as you begin this next phase of returning to work!

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