Determined Parra Brothers Won’t Let Trauma Hold Them Back

Organization: Service: Story Topics:
Trauma

Affectionately known as the Parra brothers by their care teams, Enrique, 28, and Rodrigo, 23, have continued to tackle the long road to recovery after a life-changing accident.

In October 2017, the brothers were rushed to MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center after a tragic car accident that left them both fighting for their lives.

Both Enrique and Rodrigo suffered severe traumatic brain injuries among many other critical injuries. Once at Long Beach Medical Center, the crucial support services that make up the Trauma Center care team came together to support Enrique and Rodrigo. These support services included the Emergency Department (ED), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), operating suite team, Medical-Surgical Nursing Unit, Blood Bank, and so much more.

The care team immediately initiated life-saving efforts, specific to their specialties to fix the severe injuries sustained by both brothers. The Trauma Center care team provided care coordination for the brothers from the moment of entry in the ED, through their discharge from the hospital and beyond.

“The Trauma Center uses the knowledge and expert skills of a wide spectrum of specialists to help bring patients, like the Parra brothers, from the brink of death,” says Desiree Thomas, program director, Trauma Services. “We come together for one goal — to save people’s lives.”

After intensive surgery, the Parra brothers were transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, where family and care team members began to prepare for the worst. Many people don’t survive major car crashes like the one the Parra brothers experienced, and if they do, they often require ongoing care for the rest of their life.

However, both Parra brothers worked hard to succeed in their recovery, despite the difficult journey ahead of them, with their family and care teams by their side through every step of the way.

Determined to beat the odds, the brothers eventually stabilized after multiple surgeries and were transferred to the MemorialCare Rehabilitation Institute to begin intensive rehabilitation and move into the next chapter of their recovery.
“Their story is inspirational and they both have had an impact on our team,” says Thomas. “It felt like the whole hospital and all the care teams were pulling for the Parra brothers.”

The Parra brothers kept their spirits and attitudes positive, lighting up the room and inspiring other patients to continue to push forward with recovery.

Rodrigo even helped a fellow patient overcome feelings of self-doubt when it came time to write in a birthday card to Enrique. The patient was worried that his penmanship had deteriorated and was unreadable — a side effect from a stroke he was recovering from. Rodrigo reassured the patient that even though progress can be slow and take time, it was still important to join in on the fun.

Following their hospitalization, the brothers have remained active with the hospital community, attending reunion events like the Trauma Survivors Day Reunion at Long Beach Medical Center in 2018. The brothers continue to inspire others on their rehabilitation journey by telling their own story, all while maintaining their positive and fun attitudes.

While Enrique and Rodrigo continue to work through some of the residual effects of their accident and today are back to their normal routines.

They plan on remaining active in the Long Beach Medical Center community and are returning to this year’s Trauma Survivors Day Reunion.

As each day passes, the Parra brothers reach a new stepping stone in their recovery. Together with their family and care team, they hope that their story can encourage others working through their own recovery to not feel defeated and to find strength by cultivating hope through gratitude.