His fight goes beyond the vaccine. He struggles to leave a legacy. He wants to show everybody that they must treat people with diseases like his.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — I am a desperate father, fighting for my son’s life because my government and Pfizer could not reach an agreement.
My son Ramiro is 15-years-old and has cystic fibrosis, which is a terminal illness. Because of his age, he can only receive the Pfizer vaccine, but Argentian officials could not come to terms with the company.
As a result, we lost out on 13 million doses. We wonder if we will get any of the vaccines set to be donated by the United States and other countries.
Meanwhile, we are a society in isolation.
I don’t care about the disagreement between the government and Pfizer. I want my son to receive his vaccine.
When Ramiro was in his first month of life, doctors discovered he had cystic fibrosis.
It is a genetic disease and causes poor circulation of chlorine that makes all the fluids in Ramiro’s body thicker. As a result, it causes severe complications with breathing and the pancreas, among other things.
Since he was born, we began a routine to ease his pain. Fifteen years later, we are still fighting. There are no weekends or holidays from the disease.
Every day, religiously, he undergoes four nebulizations and two kinesiology sessions totaling four hours of therapy.
Still, before the pandemic, at least he was surrounded by nature and friends.
Now his daily kinesiology sessions are suspended, and he is trapped in eternal isolation. In addition, restrictions have prohibited contact with physiotherapists, although they remotely monitor his treatment.
To replace his suspended treatments, he wears a vibrating vest that, while not the same, somewhat alleviates his pain.
The most challenging part of the pandemic, without a doubt, is the isolation.
We have been confined at home since March 2020. Ramiro has not been out on the streets. We, and the government, strictly prohibit it.
We are terrified of possible contagion since the damage to his body would be irreversible.
He stopped going to school. Although he continues to study virtually, it is not the same. He misses his routine and the contact with his friends.
Until he gets the vaccine, this situation seems to have no end until he is vaccinated with the only one he can receive: Pfizer.
As a father, I see his mood changing as he becomes more and more listless. At times, he is outraged at the country and tells me that he no longer wants to live here.
I have American Visa, but I do not dare to put my son on a plane.
What happens if, by wanting to save him, he catches the virus while traveling?
Because of his terminal illness, if he caught the virus, undeniably, his fate would be death.
Fear paralyzes me.
Every day that passes is torture to see him locked in my house. I wish he could enjoy nature as he did before.
We try to maintain hope.
As I have watched my son grow, I am amazed by his resilience. He has a different view of life from most people; he is strong, and I admire him.
That fighting spirit led him to make a video in which he pleads with the country’s authorities for the only vaccine that gives him hope to change his life.
His fight goes beyond the vaccine, though. He struggles to leave a legacy. He wants to show everybody that they must treat people with diseases like his.
In Argentina, political fights between one party and the other are commonplace, but this one is causing my family and so many others to suffer.
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