Little did we know…


Five months ago we were excited and relieved that Ostin had finally arrived for treatment in the U.S. For the previous year and a half, we had been actively advocating on his behalf for treatment of his lymphatic malformation. Once he was accepted for treatment and we had obtained funding, the next decision to make was whether to bring him alone or with his mother. We have brought many children here to live with us, the youngest being less than a year. And we had only brought one mother in the past. It certainly has it’s trade offs…on the one hand you have a parent in her late teens with her own issues and an additional person living in the house…on the other hand, it allows for more freedom, not having sole responsibility of the child.

We have had a relationship with Ostin’s mom, Karla, for the past three years and have been impressed with her sense of responsibility and deep appreciation for our involvement. But it’s one thing to have brief meetings with a person, and another thing to have someone move into your home for four months. We were not disappointed at all. Karla is mature beyond her years and was respectful, insightful and helpful.

During the course of Ostin’s treatment, Karla told us she was having pain in her mouth. Fortunately, we have a relationship with the kindest, most generous and expertly skilled dentists, Michael Coppe D.M.D. and his daughter, Carolyn Coppe D.M.D.. These two dentists have graciously provided free dental care to all of our Esperanza patients.

X-rays were taken and it was quite understandable that Karla was in pain…she was in need of 15 fillings, 1 crown and four root canals! Dr. Coppe’s office soon became Karla’s “home away from home”, and she spent endless hours there. The entire staff welcomed her, and Erica (who is bilingual) became her constant companion. Karla was referred to Dr. Ali Sarraf, an endodontist in the same building, who generously provided Karla’s root canals.

Karla was absolutely amazed by the dentists “gentle touch” and explained her experience in Honduras where the dentist was “so rough”, and “you had to drink your own blood.” Karla had learned to live with the pain, and eventually she would have had all four (top) front teeth pulled, with no hopes of any replacements. Receiving all the dental care truly was life changing, and her smile is worth more than a thousand words!

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