An Update on Camilo
Camilo’s father writes to Catholic Family News:
Camilo was wounded around 5:45 pm on Tuesday, March 13th by a 9mm expanding bullet, fired from a Jericho pistol. Miraculously this did not cause his death; a neighbor had just returned from work and took the risk of taking Camilo himself to a basic care hospital near home, where they did not admit him, due to the seriousness of the wound, so he was sent to a public hospital, but the paramedics decided to take him to the adult social security hospital. Providentially it is the best hospital in Central America for emergencies. He arrived there with 0/0 blood pressure, which is why he was operated on approximately 45 minutes after being injured. The operation lasted approximately two and a half hours. When the surgery finished, the surgeon informed us that the bullet had split the liver in two, he told us, literally like a watermelon. I asked if he would survive, he told us that it was very uncertain, that it would depend on the child's response.
At 5 am, he was operated on again, because he was hemorrhaging. Although his blood pressure had stabilized, the Doctors could see that the liver began a process of clotting, self-repair; but the external wounds did not clot. This called for blood transfusions, which lasted practically until Friday the 17th, because he needed plasma, platelets and of course blood to improve. He was transferred from the adult social security hospital to an intensive, private pediatric clinic where on Friday of that week he was again operated on, to determine the results of the two previous surgeries, especially the first one on the liver. The result was satisfactory and he woke up on his own on Saturday, before the arrival of the Pediatrician and showed signs of neurological normality (there had been a risk for damage, because his pressure had been 0/0 at the time of the first operation).
His discharge from the hospital had been scheduled for Saturday, March 24th (the feast of Saint Gabriel the Archangel, one of his Patrons – his full name is Camilo José Gabriel), but that morning, because of not eating and excessive vomiting, they tested him and there were signs of an intestinal blockage; there was an endoscopy done on Saturday at 6 pm. This showed an ulcer in the stomach, due to the stress of the wound and treatments, in addition to large swelling in the pylorus. Despite this, the Pediatrician indicated that Camilo would leave on Sunday the 25th, the feast of the Annunciation, although this year, Palm Sunday. We have always participated in the Solemn Procession with Palms at our chapel, and Camilo told us that he was sad because he could not attend, but that on Easter Sunday, he would surely go to Mass.
However, the night of the 24th-25th was a terrible one, and he experienced excessive vomiting. That morning, I went to Mass with the older children. Afterward we would head to the hospital, excited to take him home. But his Mom told me what was happening, and that it would be better to leave the children at home and come by myself. I brought with me only his immediate older brother, Mariano José Miguel, to encourage Camilo, since they are best friends. When we arrived, we found out that he had been taken to Intensive Care again, when he finished the procedure we saw Camilo come out, still sedated, and his brother emotional at seeing him this way, cried.
That Sunday afternoon, we were told that he had almost certainly suffered a blockage and that this could mean another surgery, the diagnosis was confirmed on Monday morning by the Pediatrician. The Surgeon called for a series of tests, to assess if there was indeed an intestinal obstruction, a series of x-rays (after ingesting a certain liquid which helps to monitor these things) was scheduled at intervals of 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours and 24 hours; the results called for a new surgery. Father Lawrence Novak (SSPX) arrived, and just before the exams began, gave Camilo the Blessing of the Sick; Camilo’s mother – despite Doctors’ orders – gave him Lourdes’ Water to drink, which someone had given us. Before giving it to him, she asked the boy: "Do you have faith?" He answered: "I have faith."
The latest examination, gave us the joy (although a small one, due to the terrible intestinal inflammation) of discovering that Camilo had passed a little liquid, so - to the joy of all - the Doctors decided that there would not be another surgery, telling us to wait 3 to 5 days, to see improvement in the intestines and their working again.
Today, March 28th, his Mom told me from the hospital, that the Pediatrician detects very slight noises, signs that some movement is already beginning.
We will spend this Holy Week with Camilo in Intensive Care, like Christmas 8 years ago when we also were there with him, because he had had an accident, suffering a frontal fracture.
Our Lady has arranged that, like that Christmas, we will be with Her and Her Son this Good Friday.
Translated into English for Catholic Family News by Brendan Young.