Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meet Fransisca and Tereso from our Elderly Care Program

Tereso with his new bed
Fransisca Chiquirin and Tereso Cojon from our Elderly Care Program both just received new bed donations! The donations came at a great time--Both Fransisca and Tereso recently underwent medical hardship and were suffering a lot without proper bedding. (These individuals still have some urgent needs; For how you can help, please see the last paragraph in this post.)
This was Fransisca's sleeping space, behind the
door. She slept on top of an old blanket on
the floor.

Francisca is an affectionate 91-year-old woman with a wide, warm smile.  She can’t hear, so she communicates with her daughter-in-law Ventura, who is her primary caretaker, through sign language. Fransisca’s son Oseas, Ventura, three of their five children, two of their grandchildren, and Fransisca (for eight people total) share a small, damp room that holds only two beds and a tiny window. 

Two weeks ago, Fransisca broke her leg and was in very bad condition. We rushed her to a hospital and then a private clinic, where she got treated. When we brought her home, we discovered that Fransisca slept on the floor; staff had previously been under impression that Fransisca shared a bed with some of the 8 family members in the cramped room. The conditions were not just uncomfortable; they were dangerous for a woman of Fransisca's age and state. 
Fransisca and Ventura, her daughter-in-law and primary caretaker, on the
ride to San Gorje. The paramedics escorted us on a private boat. 
Fransisca on her new bed-- Comfy!
We posted her information on the Elderly Care Blog, and the response was so fast that we were able to get her a new bed and mattress the very next day! It makes a world of difference for her--She can finally sleep soundly and heal properly. The expression on her face when she slept truly used to be one of agony--Now it is one of peace.

Receiving a warm lunch from
Mayan Families
Tereso is 74 years old and has four grown children and 19 grandchildren.  He lives with a number of them, and though his children help him as much as they can, they are all struggling to feed their own families, so their support is limited to hosting him and sometimes bringing him a little bit to eat.

Four years ago Tereso had a stroke that left him without much use of his left arm and knee and suffering from “bad nerves,” making it very difficult for him to work and provide for himself. He has since then been suffering from convulsions, dizzy spells, and intense headaches.  His inability to function normally as a result of these symptoms has also taken a significant emotional toll on Tereso. 

Tereso with his new bed

Tereso had a low bed with a very old, uncomfortable spring mattress, and it was difficult as well as dangerous for him to get in and out of it because Tereso has bad knees and is prone to falling. When the family became afraid for Tereso's safety, they came to us and asked us if we had beds available. We put up a post about Tereso and again got a fast response from our supporters. Tereso was thrilled to receive his new bed and is so grateful. 

Great improvements have been made in both Fransisca and Tereso's lives, but both of them still need monthly sponsorship to help pay for their medical expenses. Without his medicine, Tereso suffers from convulsions, dizzy spells, severe headaches, and falls. Fransisca's family needs help paying for her pain medicine (she is temporarily taking strong painkillers-- $12 for a 10 day supply), incaparina (a fortified starch food, and one of the only things Fransisca can stomach--$16 a month), and Ensure ($12/can)--a nutritional supplement that has made an incredible difference in Fransisca's recovery. Unfortunately, their families usually cannot scrape together enough to buy it all, and so Tereso and Fransisca just go without their pain medicine. It is very difficult to see them on those days. Please help us to make sure that Tereso and Fransisca get the medicine and food that they need. To sponsor either of them, please click here and enter "Elderly Care, Fransisca/Tereso" in the Other Program section. To make a one-time donation, click here and enter "Elderly Care, Fransisca/Tereso" in the Other section. Thank you!

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