Maria Pittman

Associates at Mirada Hills Rehabilitation and Convalescent Hospital in La Mirada, California, are about to say goodbye to a long-term resident as she moves on to her new adventure at an assisted living facility.


Her story is one of overcoming obstacles by leaning on friends and the staff at the facility.


Maria Pittman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but has spent much of her life as a resident of southern California. She remembers her father fondly as he had to take on a great deal of the caregiving of her and her sister due to her mother being ill. A former office supervisor and mother of two, Pittman lived with her husband in Texas until they divorced, at which time she moved back to California.


Pittman describes that time after she returned to California as “when life went downhill,” with her health and her faith deteriorating. She suffered three strokes and was admitted to Mirada Hills in early 2014.


She added that when she was admitted, she was “flat on her back, could not walk… and wanted to die. I told God that I wanted to die, but He said it was not my time. I was so mad at Him. I asked Him to show me why, and that is when he brought Gaspar and Simon into my life.”


Gaspar Garcia and Simon Quintana are CNAs that Pittman notes as main reasons for her success. She did not want to get out of bed. However, they encouraged and motivated her, and she was able to get to the point of being up and walking on her own safely.


Pittman also details that she was resistant to taking showers, instead only wanting to take bed baths. Ana Alvarez, another CNA, encouraged her to take showers in the shower room, explaining how much cleaner and better she would feel getting a proper shower. Pittman said that she felt renewed by this and thanks Alvarez for not giving up on her.


Pittman also wants to give credit to her roommate, who, when she saw her not being motivated, called her a drama queen.


“She is one of the strongest people I have ever met and made me want to get better,” Pittman said.


As she looks toward her discharge date to assisted living, Pittman sees this new phase as a stepping stone to having her apartment in the near future. She gives all glory to God, but also wants to thank all those at Mirada Hills who have helped her get to where she is today.