Some Pictures Make You Smile. Others Can Make You Cry. These Will Give You Hope!

March 18, 2009

Local Artist Creates and Unveils Paintings of Pediatric Patients at University Hospital

Drunk drivers, drive-by shooters. Trauma can happen any time, any place - to people just like you and me. "It" happened to 18-year-old Sergio Gutierrez and 6-year-old Nicholas Velasquez - two of the hundreds of seriously injured children who find healing on the Janey Briscoe Children’s Center at University Hospital each year. University Hospital is the only hospital in South Texas equipped to care for critically injured and burned children, and local artist Francisco Segura generously donated his services to bring hope to their families.

Segura painted portraits from snap shot photographs of patients recovering on the pediatrics unit, including Nicholas and Sergio. Despite their illness or injury, the children displayed in this exhibit represent hope. Segura’s paintings bring that hope to life and remind us that miracles really do happen.

Nicholas’ Story: Nicholas’ mom, Angelica, never imagined herself sitting by her son’s hospital bed, praying for his life. But in August of 2007, the unthinkable happened. A drunk driver, careening the wrong way down the highway, slammed into their car. Nicolas suffered massive injuries, and was rushed to the Level I trauma center at University Hospital. They were all hurt, but Nicholas was the worst. His little body was damaged to the point that no one could say for certain whether he would live or die. He spent months in the Intensive Care Unit, underwent countless procedures, and even survived a rare brain complication. Today, he’s back at school and even walking.

Sergio’s Story: It was January 19, 2008, a normal day for Sergio. He woke up and planned to attend a friend’s party that evening. While at the party, he became the victim of a drive-by shooting. His mother, Amy Bandt, remembers the night she got the call that he had been taken to University Hospital, the Level 1 trauma center, she knew it was serious. All she could do was pray. Sergio spent six months in the Janey Briscoe Children’s Center, where he received around the clock care. Sergio, a basketball player at his high school, was paralyzed for two months. His mother thought he might not make it, but then a miracle happened. Sergio started walking again and he’s even enrolled in culinary school, hoping to become a chef.

WHO: Recovering pediatric patients Sergio Gutierrez and Nicholas Velasquez; local artist Francisco Segura; and Janey Briscoe Children’s Center Child Life team

WHAT: Unveiling of portraits of pediatric patients at University Hospital

WHEN: Friday, March 20 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: University Hospital, 4502 Medical Drive (Meet in Corporate Communications, first floor at main entrance of hospital)