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Windermere Observer Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019 5 days ago

Woman credits coma recovery to God, family

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Nearly 12 years ago, Glorie Santos was in a coma after she was hit by a car. Ultimately, that crash led her to her husband.
by: Gabby Baquero News Editor

She still can’t remember where she was walking to the night she was hit by a vehicle and landed in a monthlong coma. She only knows what she was told and what was described in the crash report. 

It was 8:26 p.m., June 25, 2007. She was hit while walking across the intersection of Good Homes Road and West Colonial Drive. It was a hit-and-run, and police never found the driver. 

Those are the details that describe the moment 32-year-old coma survivor Glorie Santos’ life changed dramatically. The accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury for Santos, then 22.

“After I woke up from the coma, I had to learn how to do everything,” Santos said. “I was in intensive rehab therapy for four months. I had to learn how to walk again and make my voice audible and swallow food. Because of the traumatic brain injury, I still forget things easily and stumble over my words sometimes. It used to be worse, though. Even in the way I walked, you could see me waddling a little bit, and I would lose balance easily if I wasn’t holding on to someone or I didn’t have my walker at the time.”

Prior to the accident, Santos was a nursing student, but she later followed her passion to become a makeup artist. She is now a freelance makeup artist, but she credits her remarkable recovery and progress to God and the values instilled in her by her family.

“I come from a family of hard-working people, and I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t want to be pushing this walker for the rest of my life.’ So I would practice walking to the front door of my house and to the back door of my house and just practice a lot. I would fall sometimes, but I kept going until I got better. And then I started going to a gym, and that’s where I regained a lot of my strength. I put in a lot of work and ran a lot. From the outside, it didn’t look like a lot of work, but for someone with a brain injury, it’s kind of a huge thing.”

While her gym routine helped her develop her strength and coordination again, it also indirectly led to a friendship she developed with her now-husband, Lennox Theodore.

Theodore and Santos met at their church in a group called the “Young Singles Sunday School.” From the moment he walked into the room, she wanted to get to know him.

When the church group started going to a CrossFit gym, Santos’ friend would drive her to the gym, because Santos is unable to drive because of the accident. Then, when Santos’ friend left on an 11-month mission trip, Theodore offered to drive her.

“We lived like two minutes away from each other, so I was like, ‘I’ll give you a ride,’” Theodore said. “And well, you can’t sit in a car with someone three days a week for a year and not get to know them. So that’s how we became friends — and then best friends.”

On New Year’s Eve two years ago, Theodore asked Santos to be his girlfriend. They have been a couple ever since, and on Saturday, March 9, they were married at their friend’s house in Gotha and celebrated their honeymoon by going on a cruise.

“With all the details that we learned about my accident, and the fact that I’m still alive, functioning, walking and talking, getting married is all by the grace of God,” Santos said. “I was strong because God gave that strength to me. … I think that through my accident, I was able to fulfill my life’s goal. Because I think the reason God put me on earth was to bring glory to Him, so I give glory to Him, because I’m only here and recovered by the grace of God.”

Gabby is the news editor for the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer newspapers.┬áHave a┬ástory tip? Contact her at (352) 448-5856 or at [email protected]....

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