Brenda Guerra remembers very little of the accident that dramatically changed her life, and the lives of her family members. It was after 2 a.m. on Jan. 27 and she was driving home on a Barton County road when her car went into a skid.
“Doctors told me it was a complete spinal cord injury,” the 25-year-old Great Bend woman said.
The car was traveling north on SE 60 Ave. when it went into the east ditch and traveled another 420 feet. Guerra’s friend Gabriela Garcia recalled the details of the accident report: “As she skid into the field facing west, the passenger side wheels and tires gouged into the sand causing it to overturn onto its cab. This is when Brenda was possibly thrown form the vehicle, leaving her critically injured.” She was taken to Great Bend Regional Hospital, and then air-lifted to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. She came home on March 13.
“After having multiple surgeries on her back and spine by surgeon Kevin Brown, Dr. Brown’s diagnostic was not good,” Garcia continued. “Brenda was left paraplegic, which means complete paralysis of the lower half of the body including both legs, caused by damage to her spinal cord.”
Guerra’s parents, Jesus and Amparo Guerra, and her brothers Ivan and Jesus Jr., have rallied to care for her. “They’ve all been here to support me,” she said. Amparor has taken leave from her job at Fuller Brush to care for her daughter, and her brothers carry her when she needs to get in the van to travel to doctor visits. They are hoping to add a wheelchair lift to the van.
A 2006 graduate of Great Bend High School, Guerra attended Barton Community College and Fort Hays State University, and has an associate degree in accounting. She’d moved back from Hays and had been working from home, but was looking forward to a job interview in Great Bend on Jan. 28.
Now, her daily challenge is to gain strength and regain more of her independence. “Family and friends help me keep faith and hope that I’m going to get up and walk one of these days,” she said.
“We all believe she is strong enough to fight through this and much more,” Garcia said. “We hope her spirits stay high, she has a fast recovery and in the near future we plan to seek different opinions for her condition.
“The medical bills continue to mount, and Brenda is needing additional specialized equipment,” Garcia continued. “Accounts have been set up at Landmark National Bank to help raise funds for the mounting medical bills and equipment.” Donations to “Brenda Guerra, Medical Fund” can be mailed the Great Bend Landmark Bank location,1623 Main Street, or dropped off at any Landmark bank, including: Great Bend, Hoisington, Dodge City, Garden City, Topeka, Lawrence and Manhattan. For additional assistance, contributors may contact Landmark Bank in Great Bend by calling 620-792-2196 and inquiring about account number 1000102078.