Dania Castro is a vibrant and playful girl from our POI center in Villa Nueva. Dania is in the 4th grade and has attended POI since 1st grade. She lives with her mother, Maria Teresa, and is the fifth of six siblings. Her mom is a single mother and lives with a very limited budget. Maria usually washes neighbors clothing or cleans or their homes to earn a very little income.
At a first glance you would never guess Dania suffers from the terrible diseases Vasculitis and Osteomyelitis. Vasculitis is a term for a group of rare diseases that cause inflammation in the blood vessels. There are many types of Vasculitis and they all vary in symptoms, severity, and duration. Most types of vasculitis are rare and the causes are generally unknown.
Osteomyelitis is an infection in a bone. Infections reach the bone by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue. Infections can also begin in the bone itself if an injury causes prolonged exposure germs to the bone. In children, osteomyelitis most commonly effects the long bones of the legs and upper arms.
Dania was diagnosed with vasculitis when she was 1 year old. Throughout her short 9 years she has gone through several surgeries which resulted in the amputation of her fingers and toes. Every school year she is in need of special shoes because her feet are wider than usual. Her shoes need to be comfortable so that they do not hurt her feet. Her POI sponsors, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hudnall, have been so gracious by providing her with these specialized shoes. Sadly, the disease has taken a toll on her health. After being hospitalized for 15 days, her left leg was amputated above the knee.
When our POI team visited Dania we were gladly surprised. Although the pain was visible, she was very energetic! The doctor even mentioned that she had been telling jokes and sharing her excitement to go back to school. Doctors say they are amazed at her fast recovery and her correct mental health. She was released from hospital care last Wednesday and is enjoying being home. As of now, she needs a wheelchair, but eventually will need a prosthetic leg. She will also continue treatment for both diseases and physical therapy. All these treatments are expensive.
We ask for your prayers upon her and her family. May she keep her vivacious spirit and may all the complications and changes that will follow this procedure shape her into a girl of faith and not turn her away from God. At the moment, we have provided her family with a Tube of Love (TOL) and we have started looking for the right wheelchair for Dania!
“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me.”