Sick Downey boy honored for courage

DOWNEY - A young boy who is recovering from a rare and painful illness has been awarded the Hero of the Month award through national charity Kids Wish Network and participating facility Kaiser Permanente in Bellflower.Miguel Cabrera is a 6-year-old boy from Downey who was admitted to Kaiser Permanente with red, bloody blisters covering his body. He was originally thought to have Kawasaki's disease, but the prognosis turned out to be Stevens-Johnsons Syndrome, an extremely rare condition which originates with flu-like symptoms and results in red blisters which cover your body and cause the top layer of the skin to die and shed. The blisters were so severe that they developed in Miguel's eyes and he temporarily lost his vision. Despite all the pain and hospitalization, Miguel's mother said his condition is improving. "He is doing better but he's still in the healing process," said Miguel's mom, Norma. "Doctors said sometimes it takes a full year for recovery. My son endured a lot of pain. I will never forget the day he told me he didn't want to die. It broke my heart into a million pieces." The staff at Kaiser Permanente in Bellflower decided to nominate Miguel as the Hero of the Month for his strength and courage. "We wanted to choose him because what he went through was very difficult especially for a six year old," said Miguel's child life specialist at Kaiser. "He was better than an adult would be considering what he's gone through. The whole family was amazing." The Kids Wish Network Hero of the Month program honors children aged 3-18 who have overcome a difficult or traumatic event and shown great courage in doing so. The recipients of the award are given a T-shirt, certificate and gift card valued between $200 and $500 depending on their age. "It was such a joy to see our son overwhelmed with happiness. He is happy to know he is considered a Hero," said Norma. "Miguel loves his award. He is so happy." Miguel's gift card was valued at $200. Norma said that he hasn't spent it yet, but is looking forward to doing so. She said he keeps asking his family what they would like him to buy for them.

********** Published: February 12, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 43