Kenia: A Story of Perseverance

Doña Elena, an inspiring role model, who did the impossible to save the life of her granddaughter Kenia.

Kenia Guadalupe Nava Cantor was born with Down Syndrome in June 11th of 2009. She lives in Cabo San Lucas, BCS with her grandparents and guardians Jesús Nava Santos and Elena Cantor Panchillo. Since she was born, Kenia has experienced several life threatening situations.

When she was just 3 months old, Kenia was admitted at the IMSS hospital in La Paz with pneumonia. She was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and since then Doña Elena started an unstoppable fight. They traveled twice to Obregon, Sonora where she was told there was nothing they could do for Kenia. Even after hearing from many doctors that there was no hope, she persisted and they traveled twice to Guadalajara, Jalisco where Kenia received a heart cath at age 1. The doctors told Doña Elena that this would just extend Kenia’s life a couple of years. Doña Elena didn’t stop and then sought help at CRIT, where Kenia was admitted and started therapies at CAM (Multiple Care Center).

IMG_5149 64.KeniaIn this center, Doña Elena was informed that the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation was starting an open heart surgery program in La Paz and they helped her get an appointment in May of 2013. Kenia was again diagnosed and scheduled for surgery as part of the first round of open heart surgeries of our Spirit of Love program in June 2013. Sadly, Kenia’s health was not optimum for surgery at the time, as she was suffering from a severe eye infection and had respiratory problems. This led to her hospitalization, where she continued in our program under a strict cardiological monitoring and her surgery was rescheduled for our second round in December of 2013.

During this round, led by Dr. James Hammel from the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Kenia had two open heart interventions. Everything seemed to be going fine, but a couple of days after the surgery, Kenia started having complications and had to stay hospitalized for two more months. Kenia was discharged in February of 2014, but continued to be under close medical supervision by the pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ayala.

20150309_170051Unfortunately, in March of 2014, a respiratory crisis caused her to go back to the hospital. Dr. Hammel, pediatric cardiac surgeon, immediately decided to travel from Omaha to La Paz to perform another intervention. Since then, the life of Kenia completely changed, a true miracle for all! Now, she is a healthy child that enjoys life and grows without any other complication. After this last surgery she has also received orthopedic and hearing aid and still goes to therapies at CRIT. She is scheduled to be discharged from therapy in June of 2015.

Finally, the worries are gone. She is now a very playful girl, filled with energy and happiness. Kenia demonstrated, as a true heart hero, her desire to live. Doña Elena never gave up and persevered until she achieved what was said to be impossible: an opportunity for Kenia to live!

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