Hesperian Health Guides
The Story of Jésica
Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!
Make a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.
THE STORY OF JÉSICA
|The injection resulted in an infection that reached her spine, and permanently paralyzed her legs.|
|scar from infection|
|Jésica is a little girl who was paralyzed because of an unnecessary injection she received when she was 3 days old. Her mother does not know why or with what she was injected. This is the story of her rehabilitation at PROJIMO.|
Misuse of medicines and especially injections is a common and preventable cause of disability. See Chapter 3.
|Jésica’s feet became clubbed. When she tried to stand, she developed large, infected pressure sores on her knees and feet.||When Jésica first came to PROJIMO at age 4, the village team first treated the infected sores. Then they began to cast her feet to gradually straighten them.|
|They left ‘windows’ in the casts to keep treating the sores.||Little by little the sores healed and Jésica’s feet straightened. Here one of the workers changes her cast.|
|Jésica also lacks normal bowel and bladder control. From the uncontrolled loss of urine, she developed pressure sores in her genital area. Vania, an 8-year-old paraplegic girl, helped treat Jésica’s sores. She also assisted Jésica with a ‘bowel program’, which helps her ‘time’ her bowel movements (see picture on "Bowel Management"). This makes daily activities and going to school much easier.|
|Vania treats the pressure sore on Jésica’s foot.||Here Vania cleans and dresses sores on Jésica’s genital area.|
|When her feet were straighter, the village workers made above-knee braces for her and a simple wood walker. In a few weeks Jésica was walking.||With practice Jésica was able to walk with crutches—and finally with only her braces.|
|Jésica now goes to school in the village. Seeing disabled persons at PROJIMO who were happy, active, and accepted in the community has given Jésica a more hopeful, confident, and adventurous outlook on life.|
|Mari, who is paraplegic, is one of the leaders of the PROJIMO team. Here she works on a cast for making a plastic brace. See her story.||Victor, a young doctor, became quadriplegic in a traffic accident. He could do nothing for himself when he came to PROJIMO. The village workers helped him gain strength and develop many skills. Soon he became a member of the PROJIMO team and became the village doctor.|
|This pressure sore, at the base of the spine in a young man with quadriplegia, was present for 2 years. It was 15 cm across under the skin, and had completely destroyed the lower part of his spine.|
|Village workers at PROJIMO clean and dress the pressure sore.||Here one of the workers packs the sore with a paste of sugar and honey. With this treatment 2 times each day, the sore stayed clean and free of infection, and healed rapidly (in about 6 months).|