Jose, Christopher & Family
Jose, a dedicated father from Lawrence, Massachusetts, lives for his five children. When his nine-year-old son’s life depended on it, he fought to bring Christopher from the Dominican Republic to the United States so he could receive the care he needed at Tufts Medical Center.
Christopher suffers from a rare seizure disorder which has resulted in global developmental delays, including the ability to walk. He was living with his mother in the Dominican Republic, but due to the limited medical care available, Christopher was isolated and his seizures were worsening.
“Since he was very little, I wanted to bring him to the United States so that he could get better,” said Jose. “As time went by, I saw him getting worse, so I decided to fight for his custody.”
When Christopher joined his siblings Josue, 8, Marializ, 10, Marielis, 11, and Yismeiri, 14, in Massachusetts at the start of 2018, things began to turn around. Christopher was quickly admitted to inpatient care at Tufts in Boston for more than a month and Jose and family were by his side, travelling back and forth between hospital and the family’s home in Lawrence.
“My other children adore Christopher; he can make just about anyone feel relaxed,” said Jose. “The kids love to play with him – they are always hugging him and kissing him, and he loves that.”
It was clear that the presence of his loving family was vital in Christopher’s recovery, but the financial pressures on Jose were a challenge. The day he learned about Irving Oil’s Fuel the Care program, he felt hopeful.
“Christopher had significant health problems, and it wasn’t easy,” said Jose. “If it wasn’t for Fuel the Care, Christopher wouldn’t be recovering as well as he is today.”
At a time when the whole family was facing transition and uncertainty, Fuel the Care helped in a tangible way, allowing Christopher’s family to be present and involved in his medical care.
After his stay at Tufts, and spending some time at a rehab facility, Christopher is now thriving and living at home with his family. He is in school, his seizures are under control, and he is growing and learning. With continued care from the team at Tufts, and support from his family around him, Christopher is expected to overcome his developmental delays and one day walk.