Silvia greets us at her front door with a smile and invites us to sit on the bed in her small but well-kept one-bedroom house where she lives with her husband and two little boys. We gently ask her to tell us about the birth of her youngest son, Jose Emanuel. Lowering her gaze, she smiles at the beautiful baby sitting in her lap. At the same time, a sadness flickers across her face as she begins to recount the all too recent battle to save the life of Jose Emanuel.
“Just a skeleton,” Sylvia thought, when she saw her baby boy for the first time on July 26, 2011. Jose Emanuel was born premature and with Down’s Syndrome and spent the first 18 days of his life in the hospital. He was released and sent home, but it was then that the complications really began. Sylvia and her husband didn’t understand anything about Down’s Syndrome, how to care for a baby with the condition, or how it was going to affect their lives and that of their newborn. Jose Emanuel wouldn’t eat, he never stopped crying, and his mother didn’t know what to do. His health quickly deteriorated and the family returned to the hospital and admitted Jose Emanuel into intensive care. The doctor took one look at her baby and told Sylvia that Jose Emanuel wouldn’t recover. His fever was so high that at one point he actually stopped breathing and the entire room thought he had passed away. They placed the baby in an ice bath and miraculously, Jose Emanuel began to breathe again. Another eight days in the hospital and the doctors sent the family home once again – no more prepared or educated than the first time to care for their fragile baby boy. Read More→
Meet Saul. This little boy is one of our most dramatic cases at Casa Jackson, a hospital for malnourished infants located in San Felipe de Jesus, near Antigua, Guatemala. Saul is an example of a child that has directly benefitted from the donations received from our donors worldwide.
Saul was admitted at 6 years old weighing only 17 lbs. He suffered from horrible burn like wounds, which covered his body from head to toe. He was chronically malnourished for most of the first 6 years of his life, surviving mainly on protein powder and corn flour mixed with unfiltered water, and the occasional bowl of rice and beans.
Saul was referred to Casa Jackson from the local hospital in Escuintla. He suffered from consistent diarrhea and vomiting and while at the hospital he received antibiotics and a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, his body was not able to tolerate either the transfusion or the medications, resulting in an allergic reaction that produced his burn like wounds.
While the effects of malnutrition are long lasting, Saul grows stronger and healthier every day. Mere months later, his contagious laughter brightens the halls of Casa Jackson and brings smiles to the faces of all of the staff and volunteers who have shared in his recovery process.
Thanks to both our one time and recurring donations, we have saved Saul’s life and the lives of many other children like him.