Let the stories of Adisa families show you the benefits of our work.
Advancing at school and at home
Milca, a happy thirteen-year-old and a huge Frozen fan, was a healthy, good, normal baby, her mother recalls, but when she was two and a half years old, she caught a fever and later suffered seizures. They brought her to Hospitalito Atitlán and she was brought to Sololá and later Guatemala City, where she was hospitalized for 15 days.
After many brain exams, they decided that surgery was not necessary, but Milca could no longer stand up or move her hands. The doctor recommended that they look for an organization that offered physical therapy and that’s when they first arrived at ADISA.
Taking steps and smiling
Dolores, or Lolita as she prefers to be called, is a very smiley, seven-year-old girl. She has a lot of fun playing with balls, dolls, her older brother, her cousins, and her family’s chickens. Her mother, Cruz, adds that she also likes to help around the house, washing dishes.
Six days after she was born, Lolita was transferred to the Regional Hospital in Quetzaltenango for a Meningocele repair and subsequently, a peritoneal shunt to treat her hydrocephalus. Shortly thereafter, she arrived at ADISA.
Walking and listening to music
José, a young, three-year-old boy, doesn’t get too excited about toys but he loves to listen to music. Deysi, ADISA’s language therapist recommended that his parents play music for him on their phones so that he would start to recognize and understand more words and this is what he has most enjoyed, his mother comments. “Now, he only wants to listen to music on the cellphone,” she says. Even though he still doesn’t speak, José can signal things, and by means of language therapy, he understands more words.
Beginning to walk
Roberto, a five-year-old boy, lights up talking about Santiago Atitlán's fair. He is already counting down the days until he gets to ride the Ferris wheel again. In addition to the fair, Roberto enjoys playing ball, playing with toy cars, and spending time with his family, especially his cousins.
During her seventh month, the mother realized that she was pregnant with Roberto. Beforehand, she had been very depressed, mourning the loss of her 17-year-old son, but after learning that she would have another child, she began to take better care of herself again.
Walking and playing music
Gaspar, a three-year-old boy, loves playing musical instruments; the keyboards and the guitar. “He’s always playing in the house. He’s a musician like his father,” comments Rosa, Gaspar’s mother.
Two years ago, Gaspar arrived at Adisa for the first time when he was just a year and a half old. Beforehand, he didn’t walk or standup.
Smiling and communicating
At age four, Luisa smiles the biggest when picking up and throwing objects, laughing as she watches her friends, family, and therapists fetch them. Her mother, Angélica, explains that there is nothing that pleases Luisa more, except for maybe eating. “She never stops eating,” she jokes.
Not too long ago, Luisa couldn’t pick up anything. After a nearly ten-month pregnancy, Luisa spent the first 15 days of her life in the Sololá Hospital so that her seizures could be closely monitored.
Moving mountains and climbing trees
Like many 11-year-olds, Eduardo prefers to spend his afternoons playing with his friends or watching his favorite TV program to doing his homework. A true adventurer, he likes to climb the trees outside his house or travel through the mountains with his father. However, Eduardo could not always move around so easily.
Determination and independence
24-year-old Alex was born with cerebral palsy, a condition which impairs muscle coordination, balance and motor skills. In his earliest memories, he remembers the stress of running from one institution to another, getting various opinions, diagnoses, and therapy sessions. It was all very overwhelming and Alex only wanted to live a normal life.
Talking and nearly walking
Like many boys his age, five-year-old Alex loves to play football. He enjoys a good game of hide and seek and he likes being around other people. Without therapy however, he might have missed out on all of these things.
Like many people with disability in Guatemala, Francisca never used to leave her home. She lost the ability to walk after contracting polio when she was only a year old. She was scared of how people would treat her in the street and had no wheelchair to get around in.
“People used to look at my feet before my face - they saw the disability rather than me,” Francisca said. “That has changed a lot thanks to Adisa’s education program - there has been a big cultural shift.”
The gift of sight
One-year-old Marta Darling was born with a rare condition that left part of her brain protruding from her skull. She was rapidly losing her sight and doctors said she would go completely blind without surgery.
But an operation to correct the defect known as encephalocele would cost at least 50,000 quetzales (around $6,800). There was no way her father - a farm laborer - and her mother - a full-time housewife - could afford that.
Overcoming clubfoot to play soccer
When Bryan was one, his mother noticed that his left foot was angled outwards. She became worried and took him for a checkup at ASOPADIS, a local organization that helps people with disabilities. The doctor there said Bryan had clubfoot and recommended getting treatment at Adisa, which has a specialist program to treat the condition.
From frequent fits to normal life
Luis was three years old when he started having convulsions. The doctor diagnosed him with epilepsy and said he would never walk or talk. He was destined to spend his life in bed - or so the doctor said.
Overcoming psychomotor delays bit by bit
Three-year-old MarÍa was born two months prematurely and suffers from psychomotor impairment. Until recently she was not able to walk, hold her head up or track with her eyes. She always seemed sad too.
But when she was nine months old Maria´s parents enrolled her at ADISA and she began a programme of weekly physical, speech and early intervention therapy. Since then Maria has changed beyond recognition. She wanders around the house smiling and has more physical control over her body such as being able to hold her neck up.
Beating the odds to walk
When Diego was born, no one at the hospital noticed anything awry. But his aunt soon realized his tongue often hung out, his neck was crooked and his face kept changing color when he moved. She told Diego's mother something wasn't right and urged her to get him checked out.
Diego was three months old when they got the devastating news that he had Down Syndrome. The doctor said he might never walk and in the best case scenario he'd likely be around nine years old before taking his first steps. His mother Francisca was beside herself with grief.