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 giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.


HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 23: Spinal Cord Injury > The Story of Jésica



THE STORY OF JÉSICA
DVC Ch23 Page 192-1.jpg 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.


DVC Ch23 Page 192-2.jpg
Jésica’s feet became clubbed. When she tried to stand, she developed large, infected pressure sores on her knees and feet.
DVC Ch23 Page 192-3.jpg
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.
pressure sore
DVC Ch23 Page 192-4.jpg
They left ‘windows’ in the casts to keep treating the sores.
DVC Ch23 Page 192-5.jpg
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.
DVC Ch23 Page 193-1.jpg
DVC Ch23 Page 193-2.jpg
Vania treats the pressure sore on Jésica’s foot. Here Vania cleans and dresses sores on Jésica’s genital area.
DVC Ch23 Page 193-3.jpg DVC Ch23 Page 193-4.jpg
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.
DVC Ch23 Page 194-1.jpg DVC Ch23 Page 194-2.jpg
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.
DVC Ch23 Page 194-3.jpg 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.
DVC Ch23 Page 194-4.jpg DVC Ch23 Page 194-5.jpg
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).




This page was updated:21 Nov 2019