Solana was born in Argentina in 2006 with a diagnosis of Neutropenia, which is an abnormally low concentration of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) in the blood. As a result, Solana was at great risk of infection on a daily basis. This prevented her from any kind of “typical” childhood or routine interaction with other children.
The seriousness of Solana’s condition played out with her being hospitalized in excess of 50 times during her first four years of life. She underwent multiple transfusions of plasma and red and white blood cells as well as endured numerous surgeries on her ears, throat, gallbladder and intestines.
Finding Help in South Florida
Desperately seeking appropriate medication and healthcare that Argentina was simply unable to provide, Solana and her family came to the United States when she was six years old. Initially, the family lived at the Ronald McDonald House in Miami. Healthcare professionals endeavored to locate resources and treat Solana who continued to experience multiple infections requiring hospitalization.
After a year in Miami, the family relocated to the Ronald McDonald House on the grounds of Broward Health. It was at this time that Solana and her family came to Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center (CDTC) for both medical care and case management. This was to be the beginning of her incredible journey to better health.
CDTC physicians and social workers were challenged by both determining effective treatment for Solana’s medical condition and the lack of available resources for the family.
Her CDTC teamworked diligently to coordinate services. They made multiple referrals to specialists and linkages to various social service agencies for Solana and her family.
Solana underwent surgery at the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital whereby a patch was placed on her tympanic membrane. The patch covered a rupture that had happened due to reoccurring ear infections. This immediately decreased infections allowing her hearing to improve.
As Solana improved, the social work staff at CDTC helped relocate the family from the Ronald McDonald House into an independent shelter. Buoyed by her upgraded health condition and positive outlook, the family gradually secured a more stable living situation into their own apartment. The family also purchased a vehicle to transport Solana to various medical appointments since public transportation can still put her at risk for infection.
Solana Starts a New Life
Solana’s story is truly about her level of endurance and perseverance throughout this entire medical ordeal. She’s now on an effective medication regimen. Despite frequent hospitalizations, surgeries, incapacitation and isolation, she’s now able to maintain honor roll status at school. While she is only entering the seventh grade, Solana has already expressed a desire to become a physician so she can help others who are facing struggles similar to hers.
She enjoys arts and crafts, music and has recently become involved in field hockey. Solana maintains a positive outlook and dreams of a bright future. The challenges that Solana has faced have shaped her into a very mature, loving, caring and friendly young lady with a noble heart.
Mom says “she is very special” and we all agree!