My name is Fabio and I was born on 23 March 2004 in Wiesbaden, Germany.
I was born prematurely and weighed only 485 grams at birth. My twin brother Marco weighed 385 grams. I was on a respirator for a long time, and due to this my lungs were damaged.
In June 2004 my eyes had to be lasered. Artificial respiration over months causes the retina to detach and one can become blind. I was also operated on both sides of my groin.
My brother Marco died two months after birth. From this moment on he provided me with his strength, and I started fighting to survive.
The first time my parents were able to “kangaroo” me was three weeks after birth. “Kangarooing” means being laid on my mother’s breast for the first time – a heavenly feeling!
After eight months in intensive care (five of them in an incubator!), I was finally able to leave the hospital. After receiving thorough instructions on how to use the oxygen tank, the suction apparatus, the monitor and so forth, my parents were allowed to take me home. Numerous hospital stays would follow during the next couple of years. Always only checkup visits – no special incidents.
When I was two and a half years old, something incomprehensible happened: From one day to the next I became severely disabled. A totally “different” child!
I ran a fever, had diarrhoea and lost a lot of fluids – I seemed apathetic. Our only chance was to leave directly for the hospital. When we arrived at the clinic, my heart rate was 220 beats per minute. I had fever spasms, and all blood tests showed abnormal results – my CK value was 20,000 and eventually went up to 80,000.
The situation was virtually unbearable: I was hovering between life and death. My parents did not give up, however, and thanks to their love I continued fighting. All of a sudden, I couldn’t walk anymore, couldn’t speak – even though I had done all these things wonderfully before.
The doctors suspected that I had a very rare metabolic disorder – glutaric acidemia type II – that interfered with my body’s ability to break down proteins and fats to produce energy.
The doctors decided to perform a muscle biopsy. We waited for the results for almost one year. Nothing was detected in the muscle itself. However, the doctors told us that I wouldn’t even live long enough to go to school!!!!
We lived with this diagnosis for almost one whole year and my parents kept asking themselves if no other tests existed that could refute this terrible diagnosis.
After numerous requests, the doctors decided to perform a skin biopsy. After seven long months, the doctors revoked their original diagnosis.
We were all so happy, so relieved – but we still wondered what the underlying problem was.
Now we wanted the doctors to just give us the answer to one simple question: What did I actually have? The answer we received was that we shouldn’t go looking for a name for my illness since it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Since my parents clearly recognized my will to live despite my disabilities and we weren’t getting anywhere with orthodox medicine, we decided to explore alternatives such as osteopaths, naturopathic doctors, Petö therapy and quantum medicine.
The naturopathic doctor tried to determine the exact time and nature of the incident. When we told him that I had been vaccinated against MMR/pneumococci ten days before the incident occurred, he asked whether this had been reported. Neither the paediatrician nor the doctors from the clinic had reported this, which was improper. When we asked the doctors, we were told that there was no connection between my disability and the vaccination.
Today I am five years old – a happy boy who visits an integrative kindergarten and likes to play with fire trucks and who is also a big fan of Bob the Builder. I still cannot walk or talk, but the people who love me understand me anyway!
Every year, my appetite for food and liquids grows – I now only have to use my PEG tube when I am sick. In the past, my PEG tube was vital for me so that I could maintain my necessary weight to survive.
Through the Internet, television and talking to other mothers, we discovered dolphin therapy. Since I do not need my oxygen tank anymore, I could even travel to Curaçao, where I could undergo dolphin therapy. I have never travelled anywhere to go on vacation. The concept of dolphin therapy on Curaçao is convincing, and the dolphins are kept in species-appropriate conditions.
Since this type of therapy is very expensive and my parents are unable to bear all of the costs, I hope that my story will touch many of you around the world so you may wish to help us out with donations.
My family and I know that dolphin therapy is no miracle cure, no voodoo medicine. Curaçao is not Lourdes. No one comes here, touches a dolphin and is cured afterwards. However, large and small miracles happen here every day!
With the help of the donations, I would also like to travel to Cologne. There is a clinic there called “Auf die Beine” (“on your feet”) which is part of the University Hospital of Cologne. They offer special therapies for children with spina bifida and other osteopathic diseases. Unfortunately, however, our health insurer has already twice denied our request for this therapy.
Please help us so that I may be able to swim with the dolphins soon!
I thank you very much for all your support!
Fabio & Family
P.S. There is something very important that I would like to tell all parents and children out there in similar situations: Do not give up – have patience, strength and a positive attitude!!!