By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
December didn’t look like a good month for Stephanie Beltran of Tucumcari.
It was on Friday, Dec. 1, that Beltran, a manager at Pizza Hut, said she was admitted to Plains Regional Medical Center at Clovis for exploratory surgery.
Five minutes into her surgery, Beltran’s heart suddenly stopped. The surgical staff worked for five minutes before they were able to revive and stabilize her situation, Beltran said she was told by medical staff.
When she was stable, she was airlifted to Lubbock’s University Medical Center. There she underwent an angioplasty, a procedure in which a balloon is used to open narrow or blocked arteries. The doctors discovered a twisted artery, Beltran said.
Beltran was in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit for five days before her condition improved and she could be moved out of the ICU.
The hospital’s doctors began to treat Stephanie’s condition with medication. Beltran said she was told that it was a virus that had caused fluids to build up around her organs and led to a blood clot that later traveled to her lung causing her heart to stop.
Beltran spent 11 days in Lubbock’s University Medical Center. All the while her three children were by her side. Jason, 18, Freddie, 16 and Jessica, 14, stayed in a motel so that they could be near their mon. And finally, on Dec. 12 Beltran was released
But when Beltran returned home to Tucumcari, she found that, during her family’s absence, their home had been broken into.
“They took all of the electronics from the living room and the Christmas presents under the tree. They took all of my two sons’ pants and even the posters off their walls,” she said.
“They even took the food out of our refrigerator and items from my daughter. They took from all of us.”
Beltran contacted the New Mexico State Police; and an investigation is under way.
But when Quay County Clerk Ellen White learned about the Beltran family’s situation, she took charge, White began to e-mail everybody she knew asking them to spread the news of what had happened to the Beltran family.
White began to collect donations. She set up collection baskets but she also collected while she was attending the Rattlers’ basketball tournament Dec. 14-16. And on the final day of the tournament, White presented Beltran with $1,200 collected from the community.
“It was unbelievable. It is hard to put into words how we felt,” Beltran said, “I don’t know how she found time to do it, but she found time and found it in her heart to pull it all together.”
Beltran said, “It’s so wonderful to live in a town where people will help those in need and are willing to go the extra mile to see that people get that help.”
And December turned out to be a pretty good month for Beltran.