Human Rights / Children's Rights Across the World
Erin Ocampo aged 1½
Makati City, Philippines
July 29 - August 12, 2002
"It is so good to be outside after almost five weeks in the hospital".

July 29 - Late (Eastern Standard Time). Nimfa continues:  "We were so excited since yesterday because finally Erin will be discharged. We took pictures of Erin with the doctors and nurses. Around noon Hilary picked us up and it was a long drive. Initially Erin was quiet and busy eating in the car. After an hour or so he began crying a lot because he wanted to get out of the car seat. It was a new experience for us that is letting him cry because it is safer for him to stay in the car seat and the amazing thing is he didn't turn blue. We are going to stay with the Kurzers for a week and come back to Deborah for a check up. It is so good to be outside after almost five weeks in the hospital. Erin is enjoying his stay so much because of the many toys around him. We are very lucky to stay with them because they are so good to us."

July 30 - Erin's host father, Mike Kurzer wrote:  "Erin's finally home (well, home away from home anyway). Hilary went down to Deborah this afternoon and picked up Erin, Nimfa, and Ernesto and brought them to our house. It took awhile to leave the hospital because all the doctors and nurses wanted to say good-bye before they left. I think they were all as attached as we are. Erin was good in the car for about 45 minutes and then screamed for about 45 minutes since he wanted to get out of the car seat. Nimfa was happy to let him cry and not have to worry about him hurting himself. Then he finally fell asleep for the rest of the trip. He looks great and is playing with Ben and Josh and their trucks and cars right now. You would never know what he went through. Besides some medication he needs to continue to take for a while, he is able to resume normal activities. The doctor wants to see him next Tuesday at which time they will examine him and take a chest X-ray. If everything looks OK, they will be cleared to go home. Nimfa and Ernesto are eager to get home so if they can they will probably leave Tuesday or Wednesday so they may only be here another week."

"Unfortunately, although I would like to take some time off to spend with them this week, I have some deadlines to meet by the end of the week and cannot get away. On top of that, I will be in Connecticut all day Wednesday so I cannot even bring them to the meeting. But not to worry. My wonderful wife has volunteered to take them all to the meeting Wednesday so I'll miss out on all the fun but you will not. Hilary is able to be home this week so we're OK as far as help goes for the week but we do need some help on Sunday. We have a family function out on Long Island Sunday so we need someone to host Erin and his family for the day. I could bring them to your house in the morning and pick them up in the evening. Please give me a call ASAP if you could help so that I know it is taken care of. Thanks."  /Mike

August 5 - Mike Kurzer continues:  "Well, all good things must come to an end. It has been a difficult journey and has certainly had it's ups and downs and thanks to everyone's help and prayers it has ended joyously. Erin, Nimfa, and June (I learned last week Ernesto prefers to be called June, short for Ernesto Ocampo, Jr.) are booked on a flight for Tuesday evening. Of course, it is contingent on everything going ok tomorrow at Erin's follow-up checkup. But the doctors told Nimfa what signs to look for in Erin as far as if he is improving as he should and she is confident they will be cleared to fly tomorrow. They will have a layover in California so they will get to see their Aunt Precy who flew out to NJ in the beginning and was with Nimfa through the most difficult of it all. Precy is Nimfa's father's sister and we were joking about how her father must be jealous that his sister will get to see their 'newborn' Erin before him, but I told Nimfa that her Aunt earned it by being by Nimfa's side during the most difficult times and she agreed."

"Charlie Grant was volunteering to help out this weekend. Some of Nimfa's friends from college who are in the tri-state area got together for a little reunion on Sunday so they spent the day with their friends. On Saturday, we wanted Nimfa and June to get to sightsee a little since all they really saw the whole time they were here was a hospital and Ringwood. Of course, they wanted to see NYC and Ground Zero. So we packed up the cars and drove into Hoboken to take the ferry over to Battery Park. Erin absolutely loved the ferry ride (as did my boys). The three boys were grinning ear to ear the whole ride. We have some pictures I'll bring next week to the meeting. We then walked over to Ground Zero (really just a big whole in the ground now) and then took them to South Street Seaport where we had lunch in the food court, walked along the water, and toured some of the historic ships docked there. It was a great day and Erin, Nimfa, and June really enjoyed themselves. Manilla is the biggest city in the Philippines and when I asked them how it compared June said 'Manilla is a 6 and NYC is a 9'. "

"Most importantly, in regards to Erin's health he is doing fantastic. He is starting to verbalize and he can almost walk on his own. He still needs help getting to a standing position, but last night June let go after helping him up and he stood without holding on to anything for about 10 seconds. He walks around holding on to things and he is also starting to transfer from one thing to the other (like from the table to the couch), which is a big 'step' in starting to walk. We'll see what the doctors say tomorrow but it seems to me like he truly has made a miraculous recovery and should be fine."  /Mike

August 12 - Mike Kurzer's update:  "Erin's last check-up went great. He had an echo, ekg, chest x-ray, and physical exam and despite complaining through every single test, he did great. The doctors were very pleased with his results and cleared him to go home. Dr. Giddins said he will always have a slight heart murmur from the surgery but nothing to be concerned about. He will be on the medications for about three months and after that should lead a normal, healthy life".
"It was such a great experience for us and the Ocampos are such a nice family. It was truly a pleasure".  /Mike

Erin Ocampo. Date of Birth, October 30, 2000  

Efforts for Lifesaving, in International Cooperation, by BOES.ORG Children's Rights Across the World (based in Scandinavia), and Rotary International District 7490, Gift of Life, U.S.

Cooperating Hospital:
Deborah Heart & Lung Center, NJ

Surgery sponsoring Rotary Club:
Wayne/Pompton Lakes Rotary Gift of Life

Back to Main Index
Multilingual Human Rights
BOES.ORG Action1997
Ongoing Internet Lifelines 2002
Children's Rights Across the World