A Mother’s Hope

By Telma Roxandra Zacarias

In 2019, our family immigrated to the US from Guatemala. We arrived in this country with the dream of providing a better life for our daughters.

On March 14, my daughters had a day off school. That morning, after feeding them breakfast, Kelly told me that she was not feeling well and felt nauseous. I didn’t think much of it so I gave her some lemon to help her with the symptoms. Unfortunately, that didn’t help with her vomiting. Thankfully, my husband was home and encouraged me to take her to the doctor’s office.

My husband and I took her to the hospital in Arcadia (California) and on our way there she fainted. The doctor diagnosed her with dehydration and they admitted her into hospital. Shortly after, my daughter started having convulsions. They continued running tests and we were then told that she needed brain surgery. I asked myself, “why brain surgery?” I was then told she had too much brain fluid in her brain. They proceeded with the brain surgery and was then transferred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) due to bleeding in her brain.

At CHLA they did many, many medical tests. They wanted to know why my daughter was bleeding in her brain. I was questioned. Had I hit her or had she fallen. Doctors would speak with me regarding my daughter’s case, always with compassion, and would give me hope, they would always say, “everything will be fine, don’t worry.” CHLA doctors told me that my daughter needed a special surgery so that she would no longer have this disease. This surgery needed to be done at Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center (LAC + USC MC). The specialist for this type of surgery was there. My daughter was then transferred there, where they ran more medical tests.

As a mother, I was very worried, concerned and afraid of what was happening to my little girl. I would cry, had a strong pain in my chest but I had to be strong for my daughter and my family. The doctors and nurses at LAC + USC MC also gave me words of encouragement, advised me to have faith. I prayed to God all the time. Asked God to assist all the doctors, especially the one who is going to operate on my daughter.

The surgery lasted 8 hours. After the surgery, the doctor told us that the surgery had been a success. She slowly recuperated after being at LAC + USC MC for 15 days. She was then transferred to CHLA where she received physical and speech therapy. Kelly was in the hospital for over 3 months.

I admire the dedication, compassion, love and wisdom the doctors give the patients and their family members. I am very grateful to everyone but especially to Dr. Russin. Thank you for everything you did for my daughter and my family.

I now have all these doctors in my prayers. I thank God for being in this country. If this would have happened in my country my daughter would not be alive. I see my daughter now and she is doing well academically. I am appreciative of everything you do to help your patients.

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