Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Greater the Obstacle, the More Glory in Overcoming It: A Plea for Help for a Young Mexican Family

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”
Molière

Life provides many obstacles to overcome but, it also offers many opportunities for joy.
A young Mexican family here in San Miguel de Allende has recently experienced the ecstatic joy of welcoming their firstborn into the world . Unfortunately, they have had to overcome innumerable challenges along the way. The young mother, Denis, had a difficult time retaining the pregnancy. On the 15th of January and just 6 months along in the pregnancy, Denis woke in the morning feeling a little strange. When she stood up, she discovered a watery discharge, indicating premature rupture of the protective membranes that surround the baby. At her  father's urging, Denis rushed directly to hospital H+ to find out what had happened.  She knew that this was not  normal. The doctors made a diagnosis and explained that the situation was indeed very serious. The baby's life was in jeopardy and the child required the amniotic fluid to survive. The doctors prescribed complete bed rest . Despite complying, the fluid loss continued. In addition, the  umbilical cord  was wrapped around the child's neck making a natural birth very risky. To complicate matters even more, it was feared that the baby did not weigh enough to survive the trauma of birth.

On February 5th, Denis began to to experience labor pains. She underwent a caesarian section at H + Hospital in San Miguel. The baby was born and immediately transferred to the pediatric care unit to be assessed by the doctors. At birth, the child weighed 1,770 grams, extremely underweight for a newborn. Premature birth gives the baby less time to develop in the womb. Premature babies, especially those born earliest, often have complicated medical problems such as poor lung development.When the child was born , she was kept in an incubator, which is a bassinet enclosed in plastic with climate control equipment designed to keep the baby warm and limit her exposure to germs. Modern neonatal intensive care involves sophisticated measurement of temperature, respiration, cardiac function, oxygenation, and brain activity. The new baby's treatment included fluids and nutrition through intravenous catheters, oxygen supplementation, mechanical ventilation support, and medications.

 The cost of this superior care came to $ 115,167.15 pesos or $ 6,347.43 U.S.  While this seems to be a small price to pay for insuring the life of a young mother and child, the Mexican family was devastated when they received the bill. To put  it in perspective, it should be noted that the minimum wage in Mexico is $4.03 per day.

 Denis and her husband, Jose Manuel, are nineteen and twenty-two years respectively. They have a small government insurance plan, Seguro Popular, but, it did not  provide coverage for  a private hospital stay or the specialized care needed by the child. The parents are both struggling students. They never anticipated the cost of the medical care as no one in their immediate circle of friends and family have ever had to experience such a catastrophe.

I am recounting their story in the hopes that the reader might find it in his or her heart to donate a little bit of cash to help cover the cost of their crippling medical bills. If you feel so inclined, I have arranged a secure account with GiveForward.com to accept donations.  Here is the link if you decide to help https://pages.giveforward.com/medical/page-s1mrsx5/

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