Baby Jordi Chirino is only five months old but he has been fighting for his life every day since his birth. His parents faced significant economic struggles when his mother was pregnant with him. Often, she did not have money to buy food to feed herself. “Many times I would go days without eating any food because my husband didn’t get paid on a regular basis,” his mother said.
Jordi was born weighing 3.3 pounds at Mario Rivas Catarino Hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He was diagnosed with chronic and severe acute malnutrition. He has not been able to leave the hospital as he struggles every day to gain weight.
Every year, International Relief Teams sends critical medicines and supplies to support the hospital, the largest medical center in the country. The city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second largest, has endured decades of gang violence, endemic poverty, and is considered one of the world’s most dangerous cities outside of a war zone. The hospital lacks basic medicines essential for children’s health such as vitamins, antibiotics, and vaccines. The hospital depends on our regular shipments of medications to support their patients.
Jordi has more than doubled his birth weight thanks in part to medications he received from IRT. Jordi’s mother has also used shampoo and soap from IRT’s shipment to bathe Jordi. Shampoo and soap may sound like a very simple donation, but often parents cannot afford such necessary items of personal hygiene for their kids. In fact, many children that are treated at the hospital have never washed their hair with shampoo before. Many children and especially little girls with long hair, come to the hospital with infections on their backs from dirty hair. The infections are exacerbated in children who experience chronic malnutrition and compromised immune systems, as many do in Honduras.
Jordi’s mother has been by his side since day one. She has been living at the hospital with him and feels encouraged by the treatment he is receiving. She said, “Thank you, IRT. My Jordi is much better because of all of the support that you have provided. There are so many children that visit this hospital in need of help, but the hospital can’t help them without the medicines you provide.”
Although Jordi is improving, he is still very small and fragile for his age. He needs more time in the hospital to recover. Jordi’s mom currently does not know how much longer it will take, but says she will stay as long as it is necessary for her precious baby boy to become stronger and healthier.