An End to the Pain


Late in her fourth pregnancy, Maria Vargas was overcome by episodes of sharp, excruciating pain and didn’t dare breathe for fear the agony would worsen. The pain sparked underneath her rib cage, shot out to her back and then traveled through her shoulder and arm.

“I couldn’t move at all when the pain was going on,” Maria says. “It literally took my breath away.” Maria knew the pain was related to her gallbladder because CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Mary doctors had diagnosed her years before when the issue was less severe. At that time, Maria had decided to just watch what she ate and hope the pains would not come back. Instead, they came back with a vengeance.

“The closer it got to time for me to deliver, the worse the pains got,” she says. After giving birth to her daughter, Maria decided to do something about the debilitating pain. She visited another local hospital but was sent home with pain medication. “It didn’t work. A few days later, I was throwing up and I couldn’t breathe or move,” Maria says. “I decided to go to St. Mary.” Following a series of tests to determine exactly what was going on with Maria, the Port Arthur mother was admitted to the hospital and prepared for surgery the next day.

“I was in so much pain I was actually excited about the surgery,” Maria says. “And after surgery, I was so happy. I had no more pain.” What really impressed Maria was the experience she had at St. Mary. Everyone there gave her hope and made her feel like she was family.