This is the story of Gina Espinosa. She and her mother, Patricia Sánchez Quisphe, came to Pan de Vida in October 2013. At that time, Patricia was working as a street vendor. She had a small mobile food trolley where she prepared and sold meat skewers two to three days a week and earned an average income of $40.00 per week. Gina is now 7 years old, her mother is 35, and her brother Eduardo- who lives with their grandmother- is 16.
The family used to live in a single room that served as a kitchen and bedroom. They had a gas tank next to the stove. In 2010, while Patricia was cooking, there was an explosion caused by a gas leak, causing a fire to spread throughout the house. The accident affected the entire family and their 9-month-old son died of asphyxiation. Both parents were injured and Gina, who was three years old then, suffered burns on her face and hands.
When they first arrived at Pan de Vida, Patricia was fully responsible for her daughter’s education. Gina’s father, Jorge Eduardo Espinosa, had abandoned the family after the fire accident happened. However, last October, the father came back to the family and he is willing to help with Gina’s intervention plan. We are watching this situation carefully because we know that he has been violent with Patricia in the past.
Gina used to attend primary school at Escuela Fiscal Mixta Hugo Alemán Fierro. Now she goes to a program at Centro del Muchacho Trabajador, where she stays for 8 hours while her mother works.
Pan de Vida started its intervention plan to help Gina in May 2014. She had already had one surgery before, but she needed more. We contacted a plastic surgeon and an orthopedic surgeon to assess Gina and propose a treatment plan. At the same time, we started a campaign to raise funds for Gina. Currently, Pan de Vida has raised enough funds for two surgeries for her face and hands.
In October 2014 she started the preparation treatment for the plastic surgery by using pressure mask and globes with the purpose to soften the tissue in preparation for the skin graft. The first surgery, the orthopedic surgery for her thumbs, was originally planned for November, but it was not possible to perform because Gina was found with a respiratory infection. It was postponed to January 2015. We are happy to report that the surgery was successfully done on January 26th. The rehabilitation process will last 35 days.
Even though we have raised enough support for the surgeries, we still need support for the rehabilitation process and to contribute to the living conditions of the family: Food, clothes, transportations, and utilities. We have requested that the mother focus 100% on the child’s treatment. The income the father gains as a night guard is not enough to provide for the family.
The provision of food bags is critical for the family. First, it provides Gina and her family with much needed nutrition to help with her ability to tolerate and recover from her surgeries. It also eliminates the need for Patricia to have to choose between working to contribute to the family budget and providing medical care for her daughter. Currently, we give the family a grocery bag every other week.
Please pray that we are able to continue to help Gina and for the hope of a better life for Gina and her family.
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