Rangel family sitting outsideOscar Rangel and his wife had just celebrated their one year wedding anniversary and had recently welcomed their first baby, Mona. Oscar worked as a machinist in Channelview, Texas. Leaving work one day, Oscar noticed his vision was strained in one eye and thought it may be from a machine shaving. Over the next few days, Oscar lost vision in one eye and the ability to swallow and stand. He was admitted to a hospital but the doctors could not figure out the cause. 

Diagnosis with Guillain-Barré

Once transferred to the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, the doctors told him he had to be intubated and Oscar spent the next three weeks in ICU. Doctors told his wife they did not expect him to survive. Oscar was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré, a rare nervous system disorder that results from nerve damage caused by the body's own defenses (immune system), usually in response to an infection or other illness. He was paralyzed and made very few improvements in therapy.

Neuromuscular Disorders Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann

Oscar was transferred to TIRR Memorial Hermann and was in our neuromuscular disorders program for six weeks. When Oscar arrived he was ventilator dependent, could not eat, stand up or sit up in a chair. Oscar and his family started to see improvements immediately in specialized therapy that helped to treat Guillain-Barré. His daughter was even able to participate in therapy with him; Oscar would reach out to her and hand her things.

When he left the inpatient program at TIRR Memorial Hermann, Oscar was able to talk, feed himself, sit in a wheelchair, push the manual chair and walk with a walker. Oscar continued to attend the physician and specialty clinic and participated in outpatient therapy. Oscar says that each team member was important in his recovery.


Oscar had the will to get better and the support of his family including his wife who never left his side. He was encouraged and felt the support of his family, church, and work place. Oscar set a goal for himself to go back to work as a machinist and achieved his goal the following year. Although he retains a little weakness in his face and legs and is fatigued at the end of the day, Oscar is optimistic and feels blessed to be here today. Oscar's family recently grew by one more as they welcomed a baby boy in April 2008.

US News and World Report Best Hospitals Badge
Nationally Ranked Rehabilitation

For the 34th consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann is recognized as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and No. 4 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Rehabilitation Hospitals" in America.

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