Unfortunately, Erik has developmental disabilities that the family and his doctors are struggling to understand. At first it was attributed to perinatal asphyxia: an umbilical problem during childbirth that restricted oxygen to his brain. More recently it is thought that he might have a compounding genetic problem. Whatever the causes, he has experienced developmental and language learning disabilities that keep him trailing behind other children his age. While he is growing up and progressing, that progress is slower than would normally be expected. The family expects that he will always be behind, and fears he will hit a much lower ceiling in his ultimate intellectual development. He needs now and will continue to need extra care that his family cannot afford.
My friends Dr. Phil Greig, a physician in Greenville, SC and Dr. Tracy Jakob, a physician in Houston, have advised me in this situation. Dr. Jakob has reviewed the case with one of Erik's physicians and has confirmed to me that the foregoing is true.
Without going into unnecessary detail, Erik needs testing, medicines and therapies that are not covered by his family's medical insurance nor by the limited government health programs that might be available. I estimate that the costs of such care and treatments will average some US$2-3,000 per year (similar amounts have been spent on his care in the past few years). Median household income in Mexico is around US$10,000 per year, and the Miranda family currently earns somewhat less than the median. Erik's father Edgar is an administrator in the public school system, a respectable and very fine job, but it is far from lucrative. Erik's mother Gabriela is a Spanish teacher who can no longer work full-time because of the demands of caring for Erik 24/7. Erik's siblings, Edgar Jr. and Karen, are university students. They all live in a modest but beautifully cared for home in Guanajuato, which I have visited. They are very frugal in everything they do, Gabriela has segregated the money that we have given the family for Erik’s care, and she shows me medical receipts for all expenditures from this fund. I know our gifts to Erik are being used only for his care.
It is hoped that as Erik ages a few more years, he can become more self-sufficient and permit his mother to return to work, but this is not assured. It is also hoped that as Erik's older siblings complete their studies, the family's finances will improve. Accordingly, this campaign will provide a bridge to a future in which his family can more easily provide his care without assistance.
I wish I could take care of this family all by myself without asking my friends to assist. In my prior career as an oil and gas executive, I would have been able to do it easily, but these days my income does not permit me to be as generous as I once was. Rest assured, I have been and will continue to contribute to this family's income as I can.
Thank you for reading this and for considering helping this very good family. I can assure you this money will only go to help the family cover Erik's medical needs.
Blessings to you all,
p.s. If you are motivated to do so, please share this story with your friends on social media. Many hands make light work. Thanks.
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