Shortly after receiving her COVID-19 vaccine, Gladis began to feel discomfort in her face. Within hours, the left side was completely paralyzed.
An Unexpected Reaction Left Gladis in a Dire Condition
The general hospital in Puerto Penasco, Mexico has 17 hospital beds. Understandably, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the area, locals were concerned. For many families, their main source of income is tourism and, for even more, they live without insurance or regular access to medical care.
So, when the COVID vaccine became available in the area, 11-year-old Gladis’ parents eagerly got in line.
After a few months wait, their appointment date arrived – they were relieved to feel more protected from the virus. But the feeling was short-lived. Gladis soon suffered one of the more common side effects of the vaccine available in Mexico, suffering great discomfort on the left side of her face, pain, paralysis, and hypersensitive ear.
Her parents quickly scheduled Gladis an appointment with a doctor where she was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, muscle weakness that is in most cases the reaction to a viral infection.
Gladis has difficulty chewing and talking, and the condition left her socially isolated. Her parents were unsure where to turn…
Physical Therapy Turned Her Life Around
On the recommendation of a family friend, her parents learned that in the Center for Integral Therapy (CATI) of Educarte (Esperança’s partner in Mexico), had the trained therapists Gladis needed to rehabilitate her face. They were in disbelieve that this specialized program was in their own backyard – and all free to community members!
Over the course of three weeks, Gladis participated in physical therapy sessions every other day, re-learning how to speak, eat, swallow and more. At each session, the therapist gave her a list of exercises to perform at home, which she did religiously.
Today, you would never know that Gladis had undergone this journey! Her face muscles have been completely rehabilitated.
“I am very happy to be able to smile again normally and very grateful for all the attention provided by the staff at Educarte!”
Gladis is one of dozens of young people who pass through the doors of Educarte’s CATI program each week. You can contribute to their rehabilitation by sponsoring their therapies with a monthly donation made here.