Fabio was diagnosed with scoliosis when he was only 5 months old. At the time, he had a curvature of the spine of 120 degrees before receiving any treatment. He started wearing an orthopedic vest full-time at the age of one. He underwent his first spine surgery at the age of 3 years old and had subset surgeries every 6 months up until the age of 8 years old when he had his first fusion spine surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery was not successful resulting in him having to find a new surgeon.

A Long Way From Home

Fabio and his family live in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. He was referred to Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas when he turned 10 years of age to continue treatment. Over the course of the next 4 years, Fabio had a series of multiple surgeries and had to wear a halo traction device for a long period of time that would help to gently pull the head and spine upward, applying a slow stretch of the spine to prepare him for his next surgery, which was to place rods in his back to keep his spine aligned. Unfortunately, Fabio had a major setback as he got an infection resulting in the rods having to be surgically removed and him then having to be placed on an aggressive antibiotic treatment. Once his body had healed, the doctors reattempted placing rods up and down his spine. Shortly after having this secondary rod surgery, he endured another major infection resulting once again in the rods having to be surgically removed and him being put on another aggressive round of antibiotics.

Christmas Blessing

In late October of 2022, shortly after the second failed attempt at the rod implant procedure, Fabio was at the lowest point of his life. He was depressed, questioning why he was having to endure so much pain, and wishing to be a normal kid. At the beginning of November, Fabio’s mother, Ilce, received a call from one of our TGAS team members notifying her that Fabio had been selected as one of our Christmas Blessing recipients. Ilce stated she would never forget this call, as it came at a time in life when the family really needed it. She chose to keep the surprise a secret.

On Thursday, December 22nd Fabio underwent his twenty-second surgery to once again have the rods placed in his spine. On Christmas morning, the TGAS team showed up at Fabio’s room at the Scottish Rite hospital where his mom, grandmother, sister, and him were spending their Christmas together. The TGAS team walked into this room with a great amount of Christmas gifts that were all wrapped and were on the wish list that TGAS had received from his mom for each of the family members.

When asked how did receiving the Christmas Blessing from TGAS impact your overall holiday experience, Ilce responded, “Christmas 2022, was the best!!! You all came to us in a difficult time of life. TGAS gave back a smile to all our family, you all gave back to us hope, and reminded us that good people still exist.”

Fabio Has a Happy Future

In mid-January 2023, Fabio was released from the hospital and has been informed that his treatment is finished. After 14 years on this difficult journey, Fabio’s life has changed, he has a new life, he is happy, and looking forward to the future.

When Ilce was asked, what would you tell our donors and supporters if you had the opportunity, she responded, “we are so thankful forever and ever, we wish a lot of blessings for them and their families, we’re so happy to have received such a wonderful surprise, thanks, thanks, thanks!”

As an organization, we appreciate your continued willingness to help put smiles on faces of children from around the world!