Child of the month – October 2009

of the month

By Rich Petersen

Arturo Palacios Campo


child-oct09Niños Incapacitados del Lago is pleased to tell you about Arturo Palacios Campo, seen here with his sister Marta. Arturo was the recipient of a kidney transplant last year. Niños Incapacitados has highlighted several children with a diagnosis of renal insufficiency (kidney failure) and resultant successful transplant, and while we assist many children with different medical problems, kidney failure appears to be high on the list here at Lakeside.

We wrote about Arturo soon after his transplant and soon hope to have an updated photograph. He is now 18 years old, is back in school and doing very well. He has gained weight, is eating well, and only has to have monthly blood work to monitor his kidney function. He, of course, must take an anti-rejection medicine every week.

Arturo was 16 years old when he had his transplant. He lives in Ajijic with his parents and siblings and is the youngest of nine children, only two of whom still live at home. Prior to his diagnosis Arturo started to feel excessively tired. His skin color changed from light brown to a yellowish tinge, and he developed abdominal pain and discomfort.   Naturally his family took him for a medical check-up, and after several tests and scans, his right kidney was found to be failing.

The boy was started on medication and then dialysis, at first just once a week but then twice, and finally three times a week in Guadalajara. Soon the doctors knew that Arturo would need a transplant in order to recover full kidney function, but the dialysis, in addition to several medications, would of course have to continue during the search for a compatible donor.

A patient’s immediate family is the first to be screened since the compatibility factor can at times be most easily found there. Sure enough, Arturo’s older sister Marta (seen above with her brother) was considered to be a “perfect” donor. Marta is 27 years old, married, with three children of her own, but there was doubt in her mind that she would offer one of her kidneys to her younger brother.

Both siblings were tested and retested as to their overall health and suitability for surgery and both were found to be ready for the transplant procedure, which took place just about two months ago. As you can see in the photo, Arturo looks great. He says he feels very well now, no longer tired, and he is gaining back some of the weight he lost during his illness. He will restart school early next year, but in the meantime has to take it easy, avoid exposure to potential infection, and watch his diet. Marta, as well, told us she has had no adverse side affects from her surgery and is back to being a full-time Mom.

The Palacios family is a bit different from many of the families that Niños Incapacitados helps with medical expenses in that they were able to pay for most of their son’s treatments and most of the surgery by selling some land they owned, as well as a couple of automobiles. It was only toward the end of Arturo’s illness when some of the medical bills became too much that they approached Niños Incapacitados for help. As an example, one drug Arturo needs to take each month costs 5000 pesos, and we are happy to be able to share some of that expense with the family. Arturo’s mother, father, and two of his sisters attended our last monthly meeting and it was apparent they are a very close-knit and loving family, very appreciative of the help received from our group and very happy to have their youngest son back on his feet and on the road to recovery.

For anyone at Lakeside who would like to find out more about our group and its work, Niños Incapacitados meets the second Thursday of each month at 10:00 in the patio area of the Hotel La Nueva Posada. Please join us and meet some of the families we assist and learn how you can help.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

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