‘Strength she has amazes me’: Pleasanton mother continues intense rehab after hands, feet amputated

Krystina Pacheco undergoing rehab in Houston, hopes to return home soon

SAN ANTONIO – It’s an emotional and physical daily struggle, but Krystina Pacheco is up to the challenge.

The Pleasanton mother and wife is undergoing the next phase of her recovery after her hands and feet were amputated in late October, shortly after giving birth.

Pacheco developed toxic shock syndrome, a rare and life-threatening complication of certain bacterial infections. Doctors had to remove those limbs to save her life.

“She’s really strong. She’s kicking rehab’s butt for sure,” said Jacob Pacheco, Krystina’s husband. “Just that strength that she has — it just amazes me.”

After several surgical procedures, Pacheco has continued her rehabilitation in Houston at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“We’re waiting for the healing process to happen on her legs, waiting on the skin to heal and stop swelling because of the skin grafts she had on her legs,” said Jacob Pacheco. “But her arms are doing really well, and hopefully soon, we’ll be starting the prosthetic training and fitting. She is rehabbing her core muscles, biceps, abs and her legs are getting stronger.”

Jacob Pacheco said his wife goes through hours of rehab a day with the goal of getting back home to Pleasanton to their two young children, a 2-and-half-year-old son and a 3-month-old daughter.

“The doctors say she’s doing great things, but the best medicine she’s going to have is going home and being with the kids. That’s been her mindset, just getting home to the kids and loving the babies,” said Jacob Pacheco. “A mother’s love can do a lot of things with willpower.”

The Pleasanton community held a fundraiser for the family in mid-January.

Jacob is a coach, and Krystina is a psychologist at Pleasanton ISD. He says the love and support from all over the country has been overwhelming.

“It brought us to tears, just that feeling. My wife cried about it, just happy tears of how supportive and how much the community does for us,” Jacob Pacheco said.

Jacob said his wife is a fighter and ready for the next step in her recovery. Krystina is scheduled to be released on Feb. 11 from the rehabilitation center in Houston. The Pachecos hope to do her outpatient therapy at the Center for the Intrepid at BAMC.

“She’s the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met in my life. Just to see the absolute strength come from my wife, I knew she had it in her,” said Jacob Pacheco. “I’m just super proud to be called her husband.”

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.