Caddo Mills High School Athlete Still Unable to Walk After Soccer Game Concussion

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It has been more than a month since Caddo Mills High School sophomore Victoria Mendez suffered a severe concussion during a soccer game against Mabank High School on February 15. Mendez is a member of the JV women’s soccer team.

Mendez spent weeks at the hospital after she lost the ability to walk. Her doctors diagnosed her with Functional Neurological Disorder. Known as FND, it is a post-concussion syndrome that can lead to unexpected symptoms.

For the past few weeks, Mendez said she spends most of her time at home.

“I'm mainly here on the couch all day, and that's about it,” Mendez said. “Before all this, I was very independent. I would, you know, get myself ready, take my own showers, brush my teeth and, like, do my own hair, get up by myself, go to school. And now, like, I struggle to do all this stuff. I have to ask my mom for a lot of help. I don't go to school anymore. I don't do my sports.”

Mendez can stand with the support of a walker.

“I can't walk very good, but I can, like, scoot myself with it,” Mendez said.

However, Mendez said she has regressed since she was discharged from the hospital.

“I have to really think about it and then do fuerzas,” Mendez said. Fuerza is Spanish for strength.

Her mother, Karen Mendez, said Victoria has not been able to start therapy due to paperwork and clearance required by their medical insurance provider.

“It's hard. Not easy. I try to stay on the positive side,” Victoria said. “I would like to be back to normal, walking around, back in athletics.”

Her family has made adjustments to the home including a homemade wooden ramp for her wheelchair.

“They always to help me. I'm so grateful because I know it's not easy seeing me like this. And I know they want the best for me, so I just want to thank them,” Victoria said.

Victoria is also thankful for the support and monetary donations from her coaches, teammates, and her soccer and Caddo Mills community.

“That was like a big blessing. I was really amazed. You know, a girl like me that got a lot of help and support from, like, outside people, my coaches, the school, people in the world,” Victoria said.

This past weekend, Victoria joined her team from the sidelines during a home game against Mabank. She was welcomed with hugs and flowers.

Although thankful for the constant support, her voice breaks and tears roll down her face as she copes with the changes in her physical abilities. Victoria said she has sought guidance from a mental health expert.

“Therapy's a big help. It feels like you're going to stay like this forever, but you're not. You get better and look at the positive things. Because when you look at the negative issues, it's hard,” Victoria said.

Victoria is hopeful she will soon get the green light from her medical insurance to get the physical support she needs.

Victoria’s GoFundMe organized by Caddo Mills High School women’s soccer head coach Mike Campell remains open. According to Campbell, all proceeds will go directly to the Mendez family to help cover hospital bills, transportation, and other expenses.

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