Memory lost, love remains

By Patrick McGee

Jesus Cecilio passed out at school when he was 9. When he woke up he could not speak. He wrote down on a piece of paper, “Where am I?” and handed it to the woman at his bedside. She told him he was at the hospital, and he had just come out of surgery.

He wrote down, “I want my mother.”

“I am your mother,” she said.

He could not remember her. He could not even remember who he was.

“That was pretty hard on us,” Jesus’ mother, Nilsa Guerrero said. “I felt horrible. I was like, ‘What just happened to my baby?’ ”

This was the beginning of Jesus’ tremendous difficulties with stenosis, a condition that causes his throat to close, cutting off his ability to breathe.

Jesus eventually regained his memory, but he still struggled with stenosis and needed many surgeries.  His throat closed again the day before Thanksgiving 2014.

“He told me, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and he passed out in my arms,” Ms. Guerrero said.

She called 911 and told the paramedics, “Get him some oxygen, and take me as soon as possible to Children’s Medical Center.”

More surgeries followed as doctors tried to address complications. Ms. Guerrero said her son “wouldn’t be here” if it were not for the surgeons at Children’s.

Jesus talks in a faint whisper, but is articulate and converses easily with adults. He can describe Children’s model train exhibit in detail and said he appreciated Children’s staff bringing him movies and video games. He said he enjoyed the craft room and a nurse named Chad.

“He was my favorite because he calmed my mom down,” Jesus said. His mother, sitting nearby, burst out laughing.


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