Critically Injured Tejano Singer Continues Remarkable Recovery

Doctors in Houston say they're so impressed with the rapid recovery of Emilio Navaira that the critically injured Tejano star Has been moved into a private room. He still faces a long road to recovery. Pat Hernandez has an update.
The 45 year old singer was behind the wheel of his tour bus Easter weekend when it slammed into some freeway barrels here and it sent him through the windshield:

"Physically he had perhaps a one in three chance of not surviving us. Now we're talking about him moving to rehab and complaining about hospital food. So, that's pretty impressive."

At a news conference at Memorial Hermann Hospital, where Emilio has been since March 23rd, Dr Alex Valadka, director of neurotrauma services says it's now on to another challenge:

"Although he has made alot of progress, he still has a long way to go and recovery from this can continue to take a long time. He's very impatient. He'll need to learn to deal with that because he will not be able to do things as well as he used to. At least, not for a little while."

Surgeries were performed to deal with a head injury and to repair an aneurysm in his lung. Dr Alan Cohen is chief of vascular interventional imaging at UT Health Sciences Center:

"If we didn't do anything, this was very dangerous. It would bleed and that could be very fatal. I was able to put a catheter up and block it off with a combination, primarily of coils of various different types. At the end of the time, the aneurysm is totally occluded. There's no more blood flow in it, so there's no more risk of it rupturing."

Doctors say Emilio will likely have trouble with his memory and concentration during recovery, but a good sign was his ability to write his name a few weeks ago. The accident remains under investigation.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...