Articles / Health / Health / Cuba: José Miguel breathes in spite of the US blockade
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Cuba: José Miguel breathes in spite of the US blockade
By Yamylé Fernandez Photos: Leandro Pérez
The story of a Cuban baby boy, victim of the economic, political and financial blockade imposed by the United States and recently condemned by 183 nations at the UN General Assembly.
For almost two years the Provincial Hospital Eduardo Agramonte Piña, in Camagüey, has been the home of José Miguel Macías Boligan; a two year boy suffering from spinal muscular atrophy, or Werdnig Hoffmann disease (infantile SMA).
For that reason, José Miguel requires a mechanical ventilator to live, a machine that replaces his respiratory organs, says doctor Cecilia Guerrero, responsible of the case.
Although Jose Miguel and his mother Yaima Boligan receive excellent attentions in the local hospital; they could have been already in their own home, but the economic barriers erected by the US government has impeded Cuba to acquire a mechanic ventilator for the survival of the little boy.
“The life of this child depends on this equipment, because this illness does not permit José Miguel live by himself. So he has to stay in the hospital, as far as the country can buy a mechanical ventilator for him,” doctor Guerrero emphasizes.
“These machines – she added- are extremely expensive in the world market at a cost of 30 000 and 45 000 dollars each; if we were not blocked, we could buy them to lower prices”, and remarked that thanks to the efforts of the Public Health Ministry of Cuba another child (a girl) in Camagüey with spinal muscular atrophy has a ventilator at home.
GRATEFULNESS CAN NOT BE BLOCKED
If there is something the US law can not blockade is the gratitude of Yaima Boligan Echemendía, Jose Miguel’s mother
“I can not utter in words my gratitude or my husband’s. Thanks to the medical attentions my baby lives today linked to this mechanical equipment. The Cuban State is making some moves to acquire one of this and install it at home for free. Our stay in the hospital, the medication and the special diet he and I receive here are also free”, says the young mother.
“Because of the blockade this machine can not be bought in the United States of America, which is only 90 miles off our coast, however we have to go to far away countries, so the return of our boy is delayed”, Yaima points out.
In spite of these snags Jose Miguel clings to life and is capable of playing games in his bed, as a result of a careful and conscientious work of the rehabilitation specialists.
The case of the Camagüeyan boy Jose Miguel Macías Boligan, who suffers from the Werdnig Hoffmann disease, is an example that the US blockade against Cuba is merciless and does not except anybody; however the fact that his health condition has improved slightly, shows the courage of the Cubans to face any adversity.
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