of the month
By Rich Petersen
Eber Emmanuel Vilchis López
Niños Incapacitados would like you to meet little Eber Emmanuel Vilchis López. Eber is 18 months old and lives with his family in Ixtlahuacán. He has three siblings: Moisés, Edgar and Clara. His mother, Maria Guadalupe, is a housewife and his father, Alfredo, is a laborer.
Eber Emmanuel was born with Down syndrome, a congenital anomaly that results from having an extra copy of chromosome 21. Symptoms range from mild to severe, but most often mental and physical development is slower in people with Down syndrome. Other health problems are also common: heart disease, dementia, hearing problems, visual deficiency, and thyroid problems, among others. While there is no cure for Down syndrome, many people can and do live long and productive lives. There is no history of this syndrome in other members of Eber’s family.
Eber has the benefit, as do so many of the children helped by Niños Incapacitados, of a loving and dedicated family who have been tireless in their pursuit of therapy and medical care for their son. The boy has had his share of ups and downs in his short life: several hospitalizations for lung infections, a thyroid gland that for a time would not function properly, and at the beginning, the feeling that he was not responding to physical and mental therapy sessions.
Fortunately in the past few months Eber has begun responding to specific therapies designed especially for children with Down syndrome. He is now reacting to his environment and to verbal stimulation, and he has been fitted with eyeglasses to try to correct his crossed eyes. Those of us who have seen Eber since March 2009 when his mother brought him to the group have been amazed at the recent progress.
Niños Incapacitados has paid for his medications, hospitalizations, lab tests, hearing tests, and a CT scan of his abdomen, plus the 3-4 times weekly therapy sessions. All the hard work and dedication on his family’s part seems to be paying off. At our last meeting, as evidenced by the photograph, Eber was as active and curious as any 18-month old, and rewarded us with a big smile.
Niños Incapacitados meets the second Thursday of each month at 10:15. PLEASE NOTE: Beginning in April 2010 our meetings will be held at the Hotel Real de Chapala (La Floresta) where we hope you will join us to learn more about our organization and to meet other children we are assisting. Please visit our website: www.programaninos.org.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com