This is Florence's life story; a woman doing everything possible to give her baby the best life possible….
Florence is a young El Salvadorian woman of 31 years of age. Through work, she has had the opportunity to visit Montreal multiple times over the past four years.
Needing a "fit to travel" letter on her way back since she was 34 weeks pregnant, she managerd to book an appointment with a doctor, she was sure everything was safe and sound with her pregnancy as it had been up until that moment. Unfortunately, the news wasn’t encouraging: Florence’s baby was in an unusual breech position, and would have to be delivered through T C- section. Although this procedure was more expensive than expected, little did she know that it was just the beginning…
On July 24th, 2017, Florence’s daughter was born at 6am at the hospital! She was named Florence Davine, but everyone called her “Florencita,” or “little Florence” in Spanish.
On the 6th day after the birth, Florencita wouldn’t wake up or move. Something was wrong. Florence rushed her to the hospital, where doctors conducted a series of different tests but couldn’t figure out what the problem was. After many days of bewilderment and worry, they finally issued a diagnosis: Florencita had MSUD (Maple Syrup Urinary Disease), a serious genetic condition that would be with her for her entire life.
MSUD is a very rare genetic disorder characterized by a deficiency of the enzyme needed to break down certain amino acids, the building blocks of protein. The result of this metabolic failure is a buildup of these amino acids to toxic levels. If left untreated, the condition can lead to progressive brain damage, seizures, coma or even death. MSUD occurs in all ethnic groups with an incidence of 1 in 200,000 births.
Florencita was blessed the hospital had a special dialysis machine, so she could undergo emergency hemodialysis before the disease began to impact (or impact more) her brain functions. Unfortunately, these machines, weekly tests, and special formula and most importantly the team of specialists at the Hospital who have been treating Florencita and helping her grow and thrive on a specially-designed diet, are not available in El Salvador or even in Central America.
Florence is happy to be a mother and blessed to have been in Canada during birth, since her baby would probably not be alive today if she had stayed in El Salvador. In this case, God/angesl and Canada have provided her newborn daughter with the opportunity of life. But this comes at a price.
Florence’s life has now been changed forever; she won’t be able to go back to her country for the moment, and her hospital bills are currently in excess of CAD $134,000.
This type of debt is impossible for her to pay, so we are reaching out to as many people as possible to help support the ongoing medical costs and living expenses and allow Florence to keep doing the best she can for her baby.
Every dollar helps and will bring her hope. God bless you all!
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- Greg, Catherine and Leonard Mulcair
- Neil Corner
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