When Alberto arrived at Casa Jackson in late March 2011, 2 months shy of his second birthday, he weighed only 13 pounds. His stomach was riddled with parasites and the resulting diarrhea gave him a rash so severe that his bottom was cracked and bleeding. He had been malnourished for so long that he was not only too weak to walk; he had never had the energy to learn in the first place. He was not yet talking, and communicated his considerable distress through near-constant cries and shrieks.
Alberto was gravely ill and he made it to Casa Jackson just in time. Two years ago, Alberto’s 14-month-old brother was admitted to Casa Jackson in a similar state. Unfortunately, Alberto’s family sought treatment for his brother’s malnutrition too late. Little Denis passed away after only a few days in our care. Determined for history to not repeat itself, we immediately began giving Alberto the vital calories and nutrients he needed, as well as the affection and attention he craved.
His parasitic infections were treated and he began to heal. The process has been slow. Now December, Alberto is still in Casa Jackson, nearly a year after he arrived. With each passing day, Alberto grows healthier and stronger. At two-and-a-half-years-old, he can finally walk, dance, clap and sing along to his favorite silly songs. The sad, frail baby we met in March is gone, replaced by a vibrant, affectionate toddler who will soon go home to his family.