A Short but Beautiful Life

A Short but Beautiful Life

By Martha Hamill


We are deeply grateful to Veronica Lopez for her testimonial about her sister Pamela, whom she took care of as a mother when she was 16. Pamela was born with a malformed heart. Despite poor prognosis she had corrective surgery when she was just a baby. She also had open-heart surgery at four years old. Due to a failure of that surgery Pamela then had a stroke. The family was told she would never again speak or walk and would lose all her memories.


The family never accepted the doctor’s prognosis. They continued to love her and give various therapies to improve her life. At age 14 she had another surgery and through sheer determination continued to live and walk. When she reached 18 years, the Infant Hospital in Mexico City said she had exceeded all medical expectations but as an adult could no longer receive treatment there.


Pamela was accepted by a specialist hospital in Mexico City and the doctors recommended another operation. The family refused because of poor results from previous surgeries. The hospital began providing thanatological support to the family. Pamela struggled to live as well as possible until a new life-threatening crisis presented itself when she turned 19. Her condition would not allow her to be moved. Her Mexico City doctors recommended Dra. Maria de Lourdes Tejeida, a San Miguel de Allende certified palliative care physician. She is also the medical director of Hospice Care by Mitigare and one of the only 125 certified hospice doctors in Mexico.


The family pleaded with Tejeida to do her best and to everyone’s surprise and relief Pamela was stabilized without pain and comfortable within the first 24 hours. Tejeida continued to be there for the next three years. There were times when Pamela presented no vital signs and Tejeida advised the family by telephone what actions they should take until she arrived. Mitigare also provided psycho-social and emotional care for Pamela and the family. 


Veronica Lopez says, “Mitigare was the best thing ever happened to Pamela and us. Dra. Tejeida was a blessing and it felt almost like magic to have her expertise in resolving such complicated issues. Pamela lived the best three years of her life under care from Mitigare. She was able to die without pain and at home with us who loved her the most.” She says that she is sorry they did not have Mitigare when her mother was dying and that she now tells everyone that no one needs to die in pain or discomfort with Mitigare as a resource.


Hospice Care by Mitigare offers support and in-home hospice for persons with life-threatening illnesses. Mitigare is an authorized nonprofit organization that is accessible to all regardless of capacity to pay. Mitigare offers pain and symptom management as well as providing psycho-social and emotional support for the patient and family. Let’s talk: call us at 415 111 7637 or write us at contacto@mitigare.org.