By Patricia Pacheco Prado, Incarnate Word Associate, Road of Light Community, Mexico City.
I am going to tell you the story of José Ángel, a handicapped five-year-old boy, and his mother, Patricia. They were in the hospital for more than two months, waiting for the moment when José Ángel could have open-heart surgery. During this long period, his mother, Patricia was asked to stay near her son day and night to take care of him and prevent his hurting himself or falling off the bed. Coming from the State of Guerrero, they had family members in Mexico City.
I visit this section of the hospital every Tuesday, to offer Holy Communion to the children and their relatives. We talk about their conditions, asking how they feel and about each one’s situation… We pray together and I give them Holy Communion. When I talked to Patricia, she described their situation; there were days in which she had only one meal. She had to ask a nurse or relative of another patient to take care of her son while she went out on the street to eat or to take a bath. She could not rest at night. She found many friendly hands, but she also had to face many restrictions and hospital rules which made things difficult while she was in the hospital.
Whenever I visited the hospital, I tried to help her by asking the Volunteer Department to help her with anything she needed. They assisted her so she could shower at the hostel, and have something to eat. This allowed her to stay at the hospital when her son underwent his surgery.
Her faith in God is admirable; she is always praying and reading her Bible. Thank God, José Ángel’s operation was successful and Patricia is doing well herself.
When the day came to say good-bye, with a big hug, Patricia expressed her sincere gratitude for all that had been done for her and her son.
There are many children who experience long delays, sometimes, months, awaiting operations. One good thing that happens to these children is the friendships they develop among themselves and with the nurses. They share happy moments in the area known as “the little school”, under the guidance of a teacher, who encourages them to participate in manual or academic activities. They live in a fraternity where, what brings them together, is the desire to heal in order to go on with their lives, filled with hope.
On the header: Patricia Pachecho Prado with Jose Angel at the National Cardiology Institute in Mexico City.