Med student survives 6 brain surgeries to become doctor

She's survived 6 brain surgeries and will graduate next year! Let's hear it for this special, special girl!


If you ask a little kid what they want to be when they grow up, the answer you are most likely to hear is a doctor. You might be laughing right now because you recall the time you dreamed of becoming one, too. However, as time passes by, only a few really fulfill their childhood wish and pursue a career in the medical field. 

Claudia Martinez is one of them. Saving other people’s lives was something she always wanted to do, and she went for it. But things took the wrong turn for this lady when she started experiencing severe headaches and consciousness while at college. 

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation, a condition where brain tissue extends into the spinal cord and can cause paralyzes.   

“When I got my diagnosis, I was sent to a neurosurgeon,” Martinez said. “He told me that I needed brain surgery as soon as possible. If not, I was going to be paralyzed from the neck down. And so within a week I was undergoing my first brain surgery.”

This all came like a real shock, but it didn’t break Martinez’s spirit. Despite her condition, she graduated from college with a 4.0 GPA and got accepted at the UTHealth McGovern Medical School where she was treated. 

“Since I was first diagnosed, I’ve had six major brain surgeries,” she said.

“I thought I’d have one surgery. I knew my life would be a little different, but I thought I would have this surgery and go on to med school. And that would kind of be the end of my story. But it’s been quite the opposite of that.”

In her third year of studies, Martinez had her sixth and last surgery during which she had a stroke. That left her unable to function from the neck down. 

“I had to relearn how to do absolutely everything,” said Martinez. “My mom had to shower me, dress me.”

This brave lady continued her rehabilitation at the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehab Hospital where she learned how to walk again through the use of Exoskeleton. Throughout her ordeal, she never lost the desire of finishing her studies and becoming a doctor. Martinez is currently in her final year and is set to graduate in 2020. 

Martinez’s story is incredible. Her case was referred to as a miracle. If you want to see her whole story, check the video below.