NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A four-year-old girl from Uruguay is receiving treatment in New Orleans after what seemed like a minor operation back home almost turned fatal.
Now, she has the chance to fight for her life.
Agustina’s father, Kenny Nuñez, speaks alongside a translator and says Agustina broke her elbow in December, was sent home from the hospital in a sling, and the next day, they were instructed by the hospital she needed surgery.
“[Because of] a problem with anesthesia, she had a heart attack and a stroke, and lost her pulse, and stopped breathing for an undetermined amount of time,” Gabriel Nehrbass, a member of the Rotary Club of New Orleans, who translated on behalf of Nuñez, said.
Following surgery, Agustina couldn’t eat, speak, talk, or walk, and according to a neurologist in Uruguay, there was little hope for her.
However, her parents weren’t giving up, and that determination brought them to New Orleans.
“So, they have found out that, here in New Orleans with Dr. [Paul] Harch, there’s hyperbaric [oxygen] treatment,” Nehrbass translated.
While in New Orleans, Agustina will receive 40 sessions inside a hyperbaric chamber, which are not cheap, but fortunately, the Nuñez family is getting help from the Rotary Club of New Orleans and some other groups, which have also helped facilitate their trip and their stay at the Ronald McDonald House.
“I had no idea how we would make it happen,” Rotary Club of New Orleans President Norman Robinson said. “I just knew we could, and because the Rotary Club has such a great reputation of being such a helpful and effective community service organization, people were willing to chip and help.”
The Nuñez family has uprooted their lives to find the right care for Agustina, and Kenny says he and his wife would not have been able to get this far without the support from individuals and groups, but it’s Agustina who’s been the greatest motivation.
“What she’s gifted them has given him the strength to, every day, fight for her,” Nehrbass translated. “And he would tell her she’s worth fighting for.”
If you’d like to help with Agustina’s treatment, click here to donate.
Agustina is currently at Children’s Hospital after being sent to the emergency room three times since she’s arrived in New Orleans, but her family says she will be discharged this week to resume her sessions.
Once her sessions are complete, she and her family will be traveling to Arizona and Texas for neurological therapy and treatment and hopefully return to Uruguay with equipment to assist with at-home care.
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