Child Of The Month
By Barb Corol
Meet Pablo Rafael
Pablo was born June 29, 2012 to two loving parents. He was born by cesarean and at the moment of birth had to be put on oxygen to help him breath. He would be kept in hospital for two months due to complications. Upon his discharge the doctors advised his parents to continue with the current regime of prescribed medications.
Mom told us that during her pregnancy, she had regular checkups at the local health center and there was never any mention that she was carrying a Down Syndrome baby.
Down Syndrome as we know occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down Syndrome.
People with Down Syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, weakened immune system, poor eyesight, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Down Syndrome is also one of the most common causes of mild to moderate learning difficulties. Many of these conditions however are treatable so most people with Down Syndrome can lead healthy lives.
Five months after he was born, an electrocardiogram revealed that Pablo had a hole in the part of the wall between the lower chambers of the heart and would require surgery. The family was presented to Niños Incapacitados by the Social Worker at DIF in August 2013. The parents were desperate to raise the monies needed for Pablo’s surgery.
Over the next couple of months, surgery had to be postponed due to Pablo’s deteriorating health. He had one infection after another. His breathing difficulties were a concern for the doctors as was his low weight. He was prescribed new medications as well as food supplements to help build up his immune system and increase his weight.
In the meantime, a concerned individual came forward and arranged for Pablo to see a new doctor. The family was stressed out for months after being told that the heart surgery would cost 200,000 pesos. They could not believe their good fortune when the surgeon advised that he will waive his fee, leaving the family to pay only hospital services and surgery supplies which amounted to 15,000 pesos.
The other good news is Pablo had heart surgery in December 2013 and is doing well. His checkups continue to be positive. To date, Niños Incapacitados has reimbursed the family 14,000 pesos for transportation, food supplements and medicines.
Most of the needs of individuals with Down Syndrome are the same as for all of us. With appropriate health and educational services and the support of his family, Pablo can look forward to a long and fulfilling life.
As Director of the Jocotopec Clinic, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to introduce you to another one of our children.
Please note that Niños Incapacitados regular monthly meetings are suspended for the summer months. They will however resume in September. Niños Incapacitados clinics in Chapala, Ajijic and Jocotopec continue. If you would like to see firsthand what we do, please do not hesitate to contact Rich Petersen (376-766-5511) or Barb Corol (376-766-5452) to arrange a visit.
If you would like to learn more about Niños Incapacitados, please visit our website at www.programaniños .org