Young man with neurological disorder receives specialized care, stays in school

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Jose and his mother Maria

Jose Israel is 13 years old and was born with Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome, a neurological disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord. When Jose was 4 months old he received an operation to repair the spinal cord, but this caused secondary symptoms of other neurological issues, including deformations in his legs and feet. When Jose was five years old, he became affiliated with Common Hope and was able to receive support from our medical clinic. Specifically, Jose needed special leg braces called ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) to help him walk. Jose’s mother said that these AFOs were very expensive and without medical support from Common Hope’s Healthcare Program, they would not have been able to get them.

In the fall of 2015, Jose came to the Antigua medical clinic for a checkup and the doctors realized that he had grown out of his AFOs and was having trouble walking as a result. Common Hope helped get Jose fitted for new AFOs and ordered special shoes tailored specifically for his condition. Now Jose is walking without any problems. Dr. Walter Estrada, the Antigua Clinic Director, described the day Jose received his new AFOs;

“It was indescribable to see the happiness on Jose’s face now that he can walk well again, and Jose’s response of gratitude was to give me a big hug. These are the priceless moments.”

Jose's new AFO

Jose’s new AFO

The medical care Jose has received is helping to remove a barrier that might otherwise have kept him from staying in school. Jose has been affiliated with Common Hope for eight years and just started 7th grade in January. Jose’s favorite subject is math and he wants to be an agricultural engineer when he grows up. Thanks to new AFOs, he’s well on his way to achieving his goal.

Donations from supporters like you make it possible for Common Hope’s Healthcare Program to provide MORE THAN routine checkups and medications. You have allowed us to go beyond, providing specialized medical care for students like Jose. Thank you for helping students and their family members stay on the path to reach their dreams for the last 30 years. If you would like to give a $30 gift in honor of Common Hope’s 30 years of service, you can do so by clicking here. 

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