Patient Story: Marco Receives the Best Birthday Gift - MEDLIFE

Patient Story: Marco Receives the Best Birthday Gift

Marco and his parents Maria and Jose Maria after the surgeryMarco and his parents Maria and Jose Maria after his knee surgery. (Photo by Martha Chicaiza)

“How old are you?” I ask Marco, who looks at me with a shy smile. “I’m 6 years old,” he answers me. “And his birthday was on Wednesday,” added his mother, María. Wednesday. The same day that Marco received the operation he was waiting for several months. He could not have received a better gift. 

It’s hard to imagine that over a year ago, Marco could barely walk, let alone play soccer, which is now his favorite game. Marco was diagnosed with dermatophytosis, an infectious skin disease that causes painful pustules on the hands and face.

María, his mother, did not hesitate to take him to the MEDLIFE mobile clinic in her community in Colta, Riobamba, Ecuador, in February 2012. After the clinic, Marco became one of the youngest members to become a part of the Patient Follow Up program, at only four years old. “They [MEDLIFE Staff] called us after the Mobile Clinic, and I began to worry about my son” says María. “Marco, at that time, could not move, and was falling when he walked. He couldn’t do anything,” she remembers.

After taking him to the hospital, and he started receiving the appropriate treatment, everything seemed fine. The pain had subsided and the wounds had decreased considerably. Marco even started going to kindergarten. But an unfortunate accident yielded another painful disease, chondrocalcinosis, a rheumatic disease in the knee that is common on older people, and is really uncommon to see in 5-year-old kid.

It was clear that Marco needed an operation on his knee.

Thanks to the support of Martha Chicaiza, MEDLIFE Director of Latin America and Ecuador, and María Chavez, MEDLIFE Field nurse, were able to go through the complex health care system to achieve the much desired operation, and gave Marco the opportunity to run and play like any child of his age. 

On Wednesday, August 7, 2013, Marcos underwent a successful knee surgery. The same day he turned 6 years old.

“All of them [MEDLIFE Staff] helped me, and never stopped calling. Since that day we met at the mobile clinic, they never stopped worrying about Marco,” says Maria. “We wouldn’t have had the financial means to start the skin treatment for him, not to mention the operation, so thank you so much. Because of MEDLIFE, my son is fine.”

Just like Marco, all MEDLIFE patients who enter the to the Follow Up Program receive comprehensive help both in medical treatments as well as any other aspect necessary to give them a better quality of life.

To learn more about the MEDLIFE Patient Follow Up Program click here.