19-month-old Jose is from rural Guatemala. He has a history of malnutrition, and his mother recently brought him to our clinic because he has still not spoken a word. He seems to follow only the simplest of commands, but it is unclear if he can hear or if he just follows others’ gestures. His mother is worried that if he does not receive a workup and therapy he will not be able to ever speak or attend school.
Jose lives with his parents and two older siblings. His parents work as farmers, harvesting bananas on a plantation. Jose’s favorite food is beans, and he loves to play with his one toy, which is a ball. His parents work hard to give Jose the best, and fight to make sure he eats well, but his mother is worried that he will never learn to talk because they can’t afford expensive medical care to diagnose him and give him the opportunity to go to therapy to learn to speak.
Treatment will provide Jose with a full diagnostic workup to determine the extent of his inability to hear. He will receive transportation, and lodging so they can receive care in the capital, which is many hours away from the rural coastal community in which they live. This will help Jose’s mother feel more confident that her son can attend school on day, and be a good student.
“Thanks for the collaboration of all the people that will help my son move forward,” Jose’s mother said. “I hope he can study and be a good man when he is bigger.”