Author: Nicole Nover

Supporting Latino families: The power of relationships

Spanish-speaking staff and parents support Latino families at Boston Children's Hospital.
Cecilia Matos and Sara Diaz support Spanish-speaking families at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Navigating a child’s medical journey can be difficult on any parent. But for a mother or father not familiar with the U.S. healthcare system or whose first language isn’t English, the journey is much more complex.

Just ask one of the attendees at Fuente de Luz (“Fountain of Light”), the monthly informational group for Spanish-speaking families at Boston Children’s Hospital. On the first Tuesday of every month, around eight to ten Latino mothers — and occasionally fathers — get together to share their experiences and receive support from each other. There are hands to pass tissues and hold onto others; una familia formed from shared experiences.

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Pushing past the pain: Morgan’s journey with spina bifida

Dr. Warf with Morgan, who has spina bifida.
“Be glad you can use your legs now. You might not always be able to.”

That’s what Morgan Gautreau was told by a neurosurgeon in Alabama six years ago, one of many doctors she had seen seeking a solution for her nearly constant back pain caused by a tethered spinal cord, a condition where the spinal cord is attached to tissue around the spine and can’t move freely within the spinal canal. Morgan’s tethered cord was due to spina bifida occulta, a type of neural tube defect where the spinal column doesn’t develop properly.

Luckily, she and her family didn’t take his words to heart, but kept looking for help.

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