Here is little Luis David and he taught me about a medical condition of which I had no knowledge. He was diagnosed with Gunilla-Barré syndrome (GBS) This is a rare neurological disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system—the network of nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord. GBS can range from a very mild case with brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis, leaving the person unable to breathe independently. In in most cases the odds of recovery are good. His case is very severe. The odds of survival are against him.
But, he is a fighter. I was unable to capture it on the video, but as I watched him he would sometimes clench his little fists, try hard to sit up, and looked like he was fighting back and looked like he was saying “I am going to win!’
Breathing tubes, vaporizers, and medicine decorate this room. We are in a very small bedroom. His crib is almost within reach of his parents’ small bed. These are poor people. When they rushed their baby to the local hospital that serves the poor, they were told the child was fine. However, when they came home and saw how labored his breathing had become, they rushed him to another hospital that serves the poor. That doctor told them that this was an emergency and that they must rush their child to a hospital in another city that was capable of treating the baby. (You almost need to read this paragraph a few times to pick up all of the nuances and understand what that night must have been like).
The baby and parents stayed at the hospital for four-months. The father lost his job, but the life of his baby was so precarious that he simply could not leave his son and wife. They recently returned to Acuna and he is working at a factory. His wife is trying to get hired at a factory. Their idea is they will each work different shifts so that one of them is always with the baby. The social insurance does not even provide enough of the medicines and disposable items needed for the baby to survive. Also, the little disposable tips of the tubes cost only 80 pesos in Monterrey but cost 1,000 pesos in Acuna. One of the prescription medicines is not even available at many pharmacies. (We finally found a way to order that medicine). I cannot imagine the stress and worry this couple is under.
I watched the baby’s struggle to breathe and saw the baby clench his little fists and try to lift his little head. He looked so determined. He is a fighter. I am a realist and know that this may not turn out the way I want. But as long as he fights to survive, as long as his father and mother fight for his survival, I will not give up. I’ve seen several miracles this Thanksgiving and know that anything is possible. A voice said, “Bob, where are you going to get the money to keep helping this child? This will be a monthly expense and it will go on for a long time”. I answered, “I only HOPE that the expense continues for a long time and the child gets well. I don’t care about the money. That is only paper, and we will figure it out.