Child of the month – May 2010

of the month

By Rich Peterse

Mayra Lizeth Márquez López


child-may10Hard to believe that this healthy-looking little sweetheart has just had heart surgery! This is 5-year-old Mayra Márquez López. Mayra lives in Chapala with her mother Yolanda who is a housewife, and her father Rafael who works in both construction and as a gardener depending on the season of the year. Mayra is an only child—for now. By the time you read this article, her mother will have given birth to the family’s second child.

Mayra was born with defect in her heart—a small hole that was allowing unoxigenated blood to circulate. According to her doctors this defect could have brought about further problems as Mayra grew older, but fortunately the only symptoms she had prior to surgery was shortness of breath when she would exert herself playing. For this she was taking two medications while the doctors monitored her status, awaiting the appropriate time in her development to perform surgery.

The surgery (in early April) involved covering the small hole with a special seal to allow the blood to flow normally. This procedure was the least invasive and the least dangerous according to the surgeons. She came through it all wonderfully well, and they don’t believe she will need any further surgical intervention. Look carefully in the photo and you can see the upper part of her scar.

Interestingly, while monitoring Mayra’s condition over the past year, her doctors were of course able to see this small hole by means of specialized X-ray techniques; but during surgery they were surprised to find that the hole had become quite a bit more enlarged. Thus, it was “perfect timing” so to speak for the surgery.

Mayra is in preschool and will start kindergarten next year. She loves to jump and run, but for now has to play at less active games such as tea parties and dolls. Hopefully at her follow-up appointments in May and June, the doctors will find her recovered enough to return to normal 5-year old activities.

As you might imagine, Mayra’s surgery was quite expensive. Her family, however, began to save money as soon as they knew that surgery was necessary and imminent. Niños Incapacitados is happy to have helped the family with part of the surgical expenses, as well as her medications, x-rays and other testing.

Niños Incapacitados welcomes you to our monthly meetings—the second Thursday of every month, 10:00 a.m. in one of the lower level conference rooms at the Hotel Real de Chapala (La Floresta). NOTE: May 13 will be our last regular meeting until September as many of our members travel and are not available during the summer months. We do, however, continue funding our families year-round. Volunteers and new members are always needed to help with ongoing fundraising activities to help the children in our area whose families are in need of financial help to assist with medical expenses. For further information and to read about other children enrolled in our Program, please visit our website: or email us at

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