Lucas Rocha was born on December 14, 2011, in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. His young parents, Daniela Sanchez, 17, and Dayler Rocha, 23, live with Lucas in a room provided by the baby's grandmother. Dayler earns about $11 dollars a day assisting at a meat stand in the local market.
Two days after his birth and while still in the hospital, Lucas suffered a seizure triggered by lack of oxygen which alerted the doctors to his congenital heart defect. The infant was discharged nevertheless, and the family began to search for help. They had no savings with which to pay the specialists to whom they were referred, so they borrowed from friends and family. They even organized a fundraiser at a local soccer field, which unfortunately was rained out.
The infant's father, Dayler Rocha, described the family's desperation: "We borrowed money for my little boy's birth and now we have to do it again. We are looking for assistance everywhere but they say they will call us, and in the meantime my son is getting worse all the time. His little fingernails are already tinted blue and his lips as well."
On March 14, 2012, Dr. Arturo Barrientos performed an urgently needed Blalock-Taussig procedure at the Incor Clinic to improve the baby's oxygen supply. This surgery was made possible through the financial support of Dharma Trading Co. Lucas has successfully recovered from this initial intervention. His parents are overjoyed with gratitude toward all those who helped make this life-saving surgery possible.