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Voices from the Field: A Mother’s Story

  • May 6, 2009

AmeriCares honors the mothers of the world. From our work in 137 countries over the past 25 years, we know it is difficult for far too many mothers to get care for their children. Some carry their children on foot for miles to reach a clinic, others camp on hospital grounds for days waiting to see a doctor, and many go without food for themselves so they can afford medicines for their children.

AmeriCares hopes to make it easier for mothers, and their children, to get the medicines and health care they so desperately need. This is the story of Ana Deisy, the mother of one of our patients at the AmeriCares Family Clinic in El Salvador.

Ana Deisy Perez works hard to support her family, including Miguel her young son who suffers from crippling cerebral palsy. Born prematurely, Miguel was so tiny that he slept in a crib made out of a shoebox when he first came home from the hospital. Now 12, he is wheelchair-bound and relies on his mother and other family members to help him with basic tasks such as feeding himself.

Abandoned by her husband, Ana Deisy cleans houses, picks coffee beans, sells tamales – anything to put food on the table. Her home consists of two cement walls and a third made from broken, scavenged furniture. The loosely patched tin roof and leaky entrance way often create a muddy mess on their dirt floor, leaving the family exposed to the elements and disease.When my sons and I need to see a doctor or get a prescription, the clinic is there for us…

For Ana Deisy’s family, there’s little left beyond the basics. So when someone needs help, she faces tough decisions. But one decision is easy – she takes her family to Clínica Integral de Atención Familiar, AmeriCares Family Clinic in El Salvador.

“When my sons and I need to see a doctor or get a prescription, the clinic is there for us,” said Ana Deisy. “The whole staff is so caring and thorough – I really don’t know what we would do without them.”

The clinic run by AmeriCares provides expert primary and dental care, diagnostic services, community outreach and health education. The continuity of care is especially valuable for Miguel, who receives all his basic medical treatments from the clinic. It also offers convenient, quick service with an on-site pharmacy stocked with medicines from generous donors. That means Ana Deisy spends less time at the doctor and more time helping her family.

“The Family Clinic that AmeriCares set up for us here provides such a high quality of care to the people who live in the surrounding area,” said Dr. Anibal Quijano, medical director for the clinic.

“It’s a comprehensive health facility, providing exams, x-rays, blood tests, prescriptions and a host of other services all available on-site,” said Dr. Quijnao. “This makes it so much easier for people like Ana Deisy to bring their families to the clinic for the care they so desperately need.”

Ana Deisy is just one of many Salvadorans who depend on AmeriCares Family Clinic for their health care. A full service clinic, AmeriCares offers everything from basic medical services for people suffering from chronic disease, mothers-to-be and young children. New services include physical therapy to help people recover from injuries and to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

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