Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Update Feb 17th 2011

Thanks to generous donations Elvira got her operation, and it was sucessful. However, she returned to the office today as her lip has become seriously infected. We therefore would like to send her to a local clinic with a trusted doctor to get the infection cleaned and be able to buy whichever antibiotics or other medications she may need, so we can treat this before it becomes any worse. Thank you so very much to the donors who have already donated to Elvira, she was so grateful. It is unfortunate that she got this infection, and she is terribly embarrassed about it. But we hope that with the right treatment she will quickly get better.
If you are able to help out please scroll down to the end of this post and follow the donation instructions. Thank you!

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21 year old Elvira only had the chance to go to school until 6th grade--after that, she began working to help support her mother and her five siblings. Her employer knew that she was diagnosed with epilepsy three years ago, and therefore shouldn't work near the fire, and she normally arranged to keep Elvira at a safe distance from the stove. Unfortunately, one day in August of 2010, while Elvira's employer was making tortillas, her young daughter began crying in another room. Her employer asked her to tend the tortillas, and though she was gone only a minute, Elvira had a seizure, and fell forward with her face against the hot iron stove. Her employer quickly pulled her out of the fire, but Elvira was badly burned.

Elvira has lived with this disfiguring burn for months, usually covering her face with a rag, both to protect it and hide it from view. Thankfully, Mayan Families was able to arrang for a visiting medical clinic specializing in burn victims to operate on Elvira this week. They will take some skin from behind her ear and use it to repair her lower lip, which is currently pulled down and fused to the skin on her chin. The surgery will make a huge difference in Elvira's appearance and self confidence, and she is very happy to have this opportunity. While the surgery is free, she will need to pay for her transportation to and from the clinic (which is several hours away in another city), accomodation overnight, and the follow up medication she will need. In total, this will cost about $300, which is far beyond what Elvira's family can pay.

Her father abandoned them several years ago, sending only about $6 per month to support his 6 children. Since then Elvira's income has been crucial to the family's survival. Her mother works as a domestic, earning about $50 per month. Unfortunately, her mother also suffers from a medical condition that costs about $35 per month to treat. Between that expense, and Elvira's epilipsy medication, which costs more than $20 per month, the family relied heavily on the income of Elvira and her younger brother, Leonardo, 19, who works as a day laborer, to provide for their basic needs. Since Elvira has been unable to work, the family has struggled to buy food, and though they wish they could provide Elvira with the surgery on their own, they will need help to make it happen.

To help Elvira make it to her surgery and recover afterwards, please go to Donate Now and enter the amount of your donation in the Family Aid box, and enter the family name as FA104.

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