How to Save a Life

IMG_3293By now, most of you probably know about the tragic car accident that happened in Copán Ruinas in January. 10-year-old Alba was hit by a car in Copan Ruinas, Honduras while playing outside with her friends. Several people were injured and Alba was immediately rushed to the hospital in Chiquimula, Guatemala.  At the hospital, doctors discovered that Alba had fractured her skull and ankle, and badly bruised and scraped most of her body.  She needed emergency surgery to repair the fracture on her skull in order to prevent brain damage.

Alba not only managed to muster up the strength to survive the accident and surgery, but she did so with incredible patience and courage.  In the weeks since the accident, she has never complained once about the 2-hour trips to the doctor, the strict medicine regime, her restricted diet, having to sit and read while the other children run around and play, or the cumbersome crutches that prevent her from walking home independently at the end of the day (her mom carries her on her hip and her brothers walk alongside with her crutches).  She comes to Casita each morning, ready to greet everyone in her distinctive, raspy voice and a big, mischievous smile.  She got used to wearing a hat every day to cover the scars and places where her head was shaved for the surgery, but was excited to recently discover that if she pins some of her hair back, she can wear it down and ditch the hat.

Certainly, one inspirational aspect of this entire ordeal has been watching Alba survive, adapt, and thrive.  What also inspired us was how our international and local communities came together to ensure that we had the resources to support Alba through her surgery and recovery.  Upon hearing about the accident, local community members organized a maratón (not the running kind as I discovered, but instead a massive fundraising event in which people from the community visit homes and businesses to collect donations).  Everyone from local students, taxi drivers, journalists, and even our own Casita kids worked together to collect money for Alba and the other victims of the accident.  Between the maratón and online fundraising, we were able to raise the money we needed in just a few days.

The cost of the surgery alone was almost double what it costs to house, clothe, feed, educate, and supervise the 18 children in our Casitas for an entire month.  We simply could never have supported Alba and the other victims without help. So thank you, thank you for trusting us, for investing in the well-being of our kids, for wanting to stay updated and informed, and for continuing to support our work.