Child Of The Month
By Rich Petersen
José Uriel García Torres
This little tyke is 3-year old José Uriel García Torres, known at home as “Uriel.” If Uriel’s face looks a bit tired and sad, it’s because since birth the little guy has had to fight off infection after infection--gastrointestinal, upper and lower respiratory distress, febrile syndrome, bloody noses, intolerance to gluten, anemia—as well as yet-unconfirmed muscular dystrophy.
The first time his mother brought Uriel to enroll him with Niños Incapacitados, he was so feverish and sick that one of our volunteers immediately took him over to the Red Cross for evaluation and hopefully some treatment. His mother had been at wit’s end with local doctors trying to find out what was wrong with her son, but at that time—2 years ago—no one had been able to come up with a diagnosis and/or treatment.
Unfortunately, we are still at an impasse with regard to both definitive diagnosis and effective treatment. One problem will seem to be improving when another emerges, or the “improved” problem will relapse. Uriel has had EEGs, CT scans, x-rays, innumerable blood tests…even a genetic scan.
Mom, Tania, has been constantly on the run, back and forth to Guadalajara, many times to the E.R. when Uriel spikes a very high fever. Her care and concern have never been lacking, even with one other child at home. Fortunately, the family has Mexico’s “Seguro Popular” which pays for some tests and medications, but not all. Again fortunately, Uriel’s father, José Ricardo, has a good job as a mechanic, but the costs incurred for Uriel’s tests, medicines and other appointments would pretty much deplete a monthly budget were it not for Niños Incapacitados.
Each month when we see Uriel and his mother, we are hopeful there will be news of improvement in his condition—or I should say conditions—and at times we are rewarded with some good news…..but not always and not enough to think he is on the road to being a healthy three-year-old. Maybe next month. Niños Incapacitados has been “off” for the summer with regard to our monthly meetings, but now that September is right around the corner, we will again hold monthly members’ meetings on the second Thursday of each month (in this case Sept. 12), beginning at 10:00 for coffee and cookies and socializing, business meeting to start at 10:30. Location has not changed: one of the meeting rooms at the Hotel Real de Chapala in La Floresta.
Please mark your calendars for Sept. 12. As always you will get a chance to meet one of the children we are helping and hear his or her story first-hand. New members always welcome, so bring a friend.