Age: 10 years
Birthday: March 27
Date Admitted: January 27, 2012
Weight at Admittance:
About Frank: Frank is gravely ill and, along with his very devoted parents, has been living a nightmare in the late 2 months. Frank was a very healthy and happy boy who loved going to school and playing soccer with his friends until, for reasons we are still trying to understand, he underwent brain surgery at the recommendation of a doctor at a local public hospital (where care is free, but often very poor quality). Following his surgery, Frank lost his appetite and has only taken in a couple of spoonfuls of food and liquid each day. He is now too weak to walk, stand, or sit on his own, and due to an infection in his throat, even speaking is painful.
Since the surgery, Frank’s parents were going without food to purchase the antibiotics needed to treat his infections. His father was working from before dawn until after 10pm each night to earn money for Frank’s medicines, while his mother stayed by his bedside. His parents brought him to several hospitals and public clinics and were turned away each time until one doctor told them about Casa Jackson. It was hard for them to believe that we would try to help Frank at no cost. His father tried to repay us for our kindness by offering to use his carpentry skills to build any items we needed, and offered for his wife to work as our maid. Both were grateful and overwhelmed to realize that the care we provided truly came at no cost to them.
Frank’s mother is staying with him at Casa Jackson while his father works and cares for Frank’s 13-year-old sister. Because of the complex and confusing nature of Frank’s situation, it’s hard to say what the outcome will be. We are in the process of scheduling the tests and visits with specialists Frank will need to have a chance at recovering. As with all of our vulnerable patients, please keep this extraordinary young boy in your thoughts and prayers.
UPDATE: Shortly after this was written, Frank suffered a series of large seizures in the middle of the night and was rushed to a near-by national hospital. Tests revealed that Frank had a large brain tumor. Casa Jackson staff used their connections to arrange an appointment with a well-known neurologist in Guatemala City, to find out if the tumor was operable and if Frank could survive long enough to be strong enough for the surgery. Shortly after returning home from that appointment, Frank passed away in his home. He was surrounded by his loving family in his last minutes, and Casa Jackson staff is now helping the family make arrangements. We share their profound grief but also their hope that Frank is at peace and no longer in pain.