At two years old, Adalid has already faced more trauma than most people do in a lifetime. His mother gave birth to her first child at the age of fourteen. At sixteen, Adalid came along and she was confronted with the news that her baby suffered from a congenital heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. This is a condition characterized by a narrowing of the aorta. This condition can be fatal for infants. In Adalid’s case, he began to show symptoms of physical distress after his first birthday, including fatigue, shaking, an inability to sleep at night, continuous colds, and intermittent fevers. His mother faithfully took him to the public hospital in Cochabamba for monitoring and help. All the while, the small family was facing significant trauma at home with an abusive father who would regularly beat and threaten the mother.

In early 2018, cardiologists determined Adalid needed surgery as soon as possible to resolve his aortic coarctation. At that time, Adalid’s mother had taken her two children to live in a domestic abuse shelter in Cochabamba. As they sought help for Adalid’s heart, they were also seeking therapy for the fear and anxiety associated with escaping a situation of violence. Thankfully, Adalid, his mother and brother are well supported at the shelter and have a semblance of normalcy as they contribute to chores and making meals along with the other residents.

With the support of the shelter staff, Puente de Solidaridad social workers, and Dharma Social Projects, Adalid was able to receive corrective heart surgery on April 20th in Cochabamba. While the road ahead will be tough for this little one, his mother expressed her deepest gratitude for a renewed sense of hope: “We suffered a lot. I couldn’t take it anymore, that's why I sought help. I thank God that I am now in this home with my children, my son is healthy, and my family is safe.”

Go Back >