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As an AmeriCares staff worker just visiting, if I were I to try to write the full story of a “day in the life” the AmeriCares clinic, I’d need about a year to do it. The clinic was bustling with activity. Patients ranged in age from newborn babies to a beautiful woman named Santana who would soon celebrate her 87th birthday. And the services the Clinic provides meet the needs of their wide range of patients.
One of the highlights of my day was meeting Ashley, an adorable four-year-old girl who had suffered from severe malnutrition. Her mother, Guadalupe, described Ashley as her “miracle baby”. She and her husband tried to conceive for five long years before Ashley was born.
When Ashley was about 9 months old, she came down with a terrible infection and her mother rushed her to the Clinic for help. Between diarrhea and loss of appetite, Ashley lost 10 pounds — about half her body weight. Guadalupe was frantic and feared for the life of her only child.
Doctors at the Clinic immediately gave Ashley the medicines and treatments she needed to fight the infection, stop the diarrhea and replenish the lost fluids. But that was only the beginning. Ashley entered AmeriCares nutrition program to help her thrive.
“The program has been a big help to my family and we are very thankful. But more than that — the whole community can see how much the Clinic helped Ashley,” said Guadalupe through a translator. “I’m glad she can be a role model so that when other kids get sick, their parents will take them to the Clinic right away. AmeriCares has a strong partnership with the local families, who in turn promote proper nutrition and preventive health care in the community every day.”
From nutritional supplements and cooking lessons, to hygiene items to reduce the risk of future infection, Ashley and her mom participate in the comprehensive program. Ashley even likes to play “kitchen” and sometimes helps Guadalupe make dinner.
Ashley now maintains a healthy weight and doctors at the clinic strictly monitor her health.