Keyden Torrico is a tiny one-year-old who had been unusually sickly since birth. Her young parents, Felix and Noemí, who live with Noemí’s parents in Quillacollo, Bolivia, believed her health problems had to do with the fact that she was conceived out-of-wedlock and they had struggled to establish themselves as a couple under difficult circumstances. In early 2012, Keyden was admitted to Germán Urquídi Maternal and Children’s Hospital in Cochabamba for pneumonia. It was there that doctors first told Felix and Noemí that their daughter needed corrective heart surgery. Diagnostic studies subsequently carried out at the Belga Clinic confirmed a set of septal heart defects, including both inter-ventricular and inter-atrial (“patent foramen ovale”) communication. The failure of the membrane between the two halves of her heart to properly seal had been the cause of her repeated illnesses and failure to thrive.
Felix described their plight as follows:
She is our first little daughter and she was born with so many problems, maybe because my wife had a rough time during her pregnancy because she was single and our families were very angry. We have been unable to marry, but we decided to live together to raise our little girl. We stopped going to school and we are trying to work in whatever we can. Noemí is alone at home and unable to work because of the care Keyden needs. What I earn is barely enough to pay for the most urgent things such as food and some medicines for Keyden. We are asking God to help us so that we can get the surgery our little girl needs.
Keyden underwent open heart surgery on May 10, 2012, at the Belga Clinic and required a second intervention that same evening to manage complications, as is common in surgeries of this nature. Her condition is currently satisfactory and she is expected to make a strong recovery. This surgery was made possible through the financial support of Dharma Trading Company. While this family has had a very difficult beginning, it is hoped that this experience has helped them to grow and mature and they may now be on more solid footing to look toward a better future.