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Two sisters and a child with special needs seek refuge in Colombia

A migrant family's journey

Colombian refugee women care for sick daughter

Yeniré: Rachel needed a medicine for her convulsions that we could not get in Venezuela.

Becsy: When they would finally get the medicine at the pharmacy we would stand in line for two or to three days to get it. Sometimes when we were getting close to the front, say 100 people to go, they would announce that they were all out.

Yeniré: So we decided to come walking from Acarigua, Venezuela, which is in the province of Portuguesa. The trip from Venezuela to Colombia took five days.

Becsy: As we were walking Venezuelans would come out and help us with anything they could. Give us food, water, clothes for us and the children. We had no choice; we had to come for the health and wellbeing of our children, especially Rachel.

Yeniré: When we arrived in Colombia we were able to find a place to live, we had jobs, and we were relatively stable until the pandemic hit. We lost everything, our jobs, income, our home. And, that’s when everything went downhill.

Rachel started to decay. She was getting thinner and thinner. I started looking for help and I asked for psychosocial support, which is where I met Dr. Vanessa. I talk to her and told her about my life. I told her about my daughter, my niece, my son, my pregnancy, and what was happening at the time.

That night Rachel had a really really bad night. So bad.

So in the morning my sister and I ran to the clinic. She needed to be referred but they would not admit her due to her legal status.

So almost like a miracle I remembered my angel, Dr. Vanessa. At 11 o’clock that night I get a phone call. “We are going!” “They’re waiting for Rachel at the hospital.”

They welcomed her at the hospital with everything she needed. Gave her the best care.

We learned that she was aspirating food into her lungs. So instead of going to her stomach, the food we fed her was not nourishing her. It was killing her.

At the hospital they were able to perform a gastrostomy to put in a feeding tube. It saved her life.

Becsy: I always say that Rachel is a warrior. She’s been so strong, that’s why she didn’t die in Venezuela. She came here to fight. She came here to stay.

If God allowed us to come to Colombia walking in the mud and the rain with our luggage on our backs, then God has an incredible purpose for both of us.

Yeniré: No matter all the difficulties and all the hardships we’ve been through, all the storms of life, we are still here together.

Becsy: If God has kept us together all this time it’s because of his purpose for our lives. If we were not together we would not be where we are today. We would not have accomplished everything we’ve accomplished for our children.

We want to continue fighting together, staying together, providing the best life for our children. We now have hope for tomorrow.

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