Child of the Month
By Rich Petersen

Joaquín Guzmán Calixto
www.programaninos.org

     This handsome 17-year old is Joaquín Guzmán Calixto who lives with his mother and siblings in Ajijic. Mom is an industrious single mother who looks after four homes per week in the Lake Chapala area. Joaquín is in his last year of high school in Chapala but is still not sure what studies he wants to pursue following graduation.
     One day while playing with friends (“horsing around”), Joaquin’s left eye was stuck with a kitchen knife. He was three years old at the time. Urgent measures were undertaken but it was too late to save the cornea. A member of the Niños Incapacitados group who was a friend of the family brought Joaquín’s case to the group’s attention.
     Numerous doctor visits and follow-up checks showed no change in the boy’s condition, but fortunately he adapted well to having vision in only one eye. A few years later he was placed on a list for potential cornea transplant, but it was not until last year in September that the transplant was performed.
     Joaquin’s left eye has been slow to adapt to the new cornea, and while he has no pain and no outward indication that his eye is anything but normal, his vision is still cloudy. Stitch removal has been a slow process since only a few at a time can be removed to ensure that the new cornea stays in place. Joaquín’s doctors expect him to regain vision in the left eye over time.
     Niños Incapacitados paid for a portion of Joaquín’s surgery (his family members contributed the remainder), as well as for his follow-up doctor visits, medicines and bus transportation to Guadalajara. This young man’s progress and return to health gave quite a boost to the group at our last monthly meeting—check out the great smile in the above photo.
     If you would like to find out more about our organization, please feel free to attend our monthly meetings on the first Thursday of each month at 10:00 a.m. (September through June) at La Nueva Posada in Ajijic. Our group is looking for new members, volunteers and donors to help our Mexican families in need.
     Check our website at www.programaninos.org for more information on the organization and how to make a donation to our efforts. Or contact our president, Robin Lawrason at 766-3070 or info@programaninos.org