Considering all the hardships and challenges they have faced throughout the years, Yajaira deserves to be recognized as CDTC Hero of the Month. 

Thanks to her care team at CDTC, Yajaira and her family have been able to thrive and overcome so much.  She came to CDTC as a newborn and was seen by Dr. Maria Barrueco in the Early Steps clinic.

Right from the start, she had difficulty with feeding. As a result, Yajaira and her mother, Neri, spent a lot of time in the ER due to Yajaira not being able to tolerate the feeding process, as well as food itself.  She was diagnosed with cyclic vomiting, a very debilitating condition requiring almost monthly hospitalizations.  Compounding her feeding challenges, a feeding tube was placed in her tiny body to bypass her stomach into her small intestines.  Adding to her adversity, Yajaira was born with profound hearing loss requiring cochlear implant surgery.  She also was diagnosed with autism and a seizure disorder. 

As one could imagine, all of this was very hard on Neri, who is also not fluent in English.  Nevertheless, her pride and joy in her daughter compelled her to face the language barriers involved in navigating all the specialists Yajaira needed to see.  It was an uncertain time, but Neri always knew she was in good hands with the support provided by her CDTC care team, which included her pediatrician, Dr. Barrueco, her Early Steps Service Coordinator, Extraordinary Children Health Outcomes (ECHO) care coordinator, health educator and nutritionist, all of whom played a huge role in Yajaira’s journey. 

Her Early Steps (ES) team, along with her medical home care team provided the much-needed support and services to ensure Yajaira developed into the wonderful young girl she is today. 

Yajaira’s journey is not over, inasmuch as she still needs support from her CDTC care team while facing two more surgeries for her misshapen ear.  She also continues to receive applied behavior analysis (ABA) and speech therapy services.  Meanwhile, Neri, who has dedicated her life to her daughter, has done a tremendous job at keeping up with all of Yajaira’s medical care and appointments. 

Now 12 years old, Yajaira loves to create all kinds of art, especially by drawing and painting. She also has a pet bird that she loves named “Chato” who follows her around the house. She likes to shop on Amazon and has been known to order a few things on her own, such as a dress and some purses. 

As true CDTC HEROs who should be applauded, both Neri and Yajaira continue to preserve together despite the adversity they face.

About our Hero of the Month

Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our  Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.

Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.

A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.

But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.