We talk often about the negative impacts of traditional, institutional orphan care. Living in an institution often has long-lasting, damaging effects on a child’s physical and psychological health.
And for children who have medical conditions, institutional care can be even more dangerous. Rotating caregivers and high child-to-staff ratios make it difficult for children to receive personal attention and care.
But thankfully, because of your support, family-style care is changing the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children around the world. Tomás, a boy from Chihuahua, Mexico, experienced this firsthand. In more ways than one, family-style care saved Tomás’ life.
Tomás grew up in institutional care, moving from one orphanage to another. When he was 10 years old, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Most institutions aren’t adequately prepared to care for a child with diabetes. Ongoing treatment requires managing blood sugar levels with insulin, along with specific diet and lifestyle requirements. Without proper care, Tomás was often in and out of hospitals.
One morning, when he was 13, Tomás was feeling worse than usual, and he noticed he was especially drowsy. Suddenly, his vision blurred and he became dizzy. Tomás was unable to cry out for help.
He spent the following month in the ICU recovering from a diabetic coma. To make matters worse, nobody came to pick him up after he was released from the hospital.
Thankfully, our team in Chihuahua was called, and Tomás was placed in temporary family-style until a more permanent solution could be found. Thanks to loving, family-style care, Tomás’ life was about to change.
TURNING A CORNER
Believe it or not, the couple who took Tomás in were doctors! In addition to providing a loving family environment, they immediately began educating and equipping Tomás to care for himself.
Tomás learned how to eat healthy, maintain his glucose levels, and administer insulin. Not only was he given the knowledge and tools to manage his diabetes…he was empowered to truly live.
After a few months of living and learning, it was time to find a more permanent family for Tomás. It’s often difficult to find family-style care for a teenager, but Daniel and Irma opened their hearts and home to Tomás. During their first meeting with Tomás, Daniel and Irma were enamored with his joy. Tomás’ medical situation did not discourage them…instead, it filled them with even more love and compassion.
Today, Tomás has a family who loves him and cares for him. We are so thankful for the difference family-style care has made in his life!
And we’re so grateful for your generosity and support that makes this possible. You truly changed Tomás’ life….and you are changing the way the world cares for orphans!