Samara, a Zika daughter

Feb 8, 2020

Even if the Zika epidemic in Colombia ended three years ago, the traces of this disease still actives in the hundreds of families who experienced a turnaround in their lives after the birth of 356 children with microcephaly between 2015 and 2018, according to the National Institute of Health.

Samara Velásquez Corcino, 3, is one of them, as a result of her mother, Eliana, 38, contracted an asymptomatic Zika during her pregnancy in 2016.

The condition gives to the girl a 97% disability, which makes her have a delayed physical-neuronal development, gastroesophageal reflux, severe spasticity (muscle contraction), lack of musculature, among other symptoms.

Like other mothers who have had to face the same situation in different cities of Colombia and Latinoamerica, Eliana “stopped being a woman to become a full time caregiver”, according to her, which meant giving up her work as an esthetician and her personal activities to devote herself completely to Samara’s upbringing.

However, Eliana and Samara find quite a few moments of love between them and the other members of their family: Jean Paul, the father, and Brianna, the firstborn daughter.

Eliana Corcino Mina, 38, breastfeeds her daughter Samara, a 2-year-old girl with microcephaly associated to Zika, with the purpose of making her sleep for an encephalogram, carried out in the Neurofic center, west of Cali, city of Colombia. April 9, 2019.
Eliana Corcino Mina, 38, breastfeeds her daughter Samara, a 2-year-old girl with microcephaly associated to Zika, with the purpose of making her sleep for an encephalogram, carried out in the Neurofic center, west of Cali, city of Colombia. April 9, 2019.
Eliana shows one of the ultrasounds that revealed that her second daughter, Samara, was going to be born in 2017 with microcephaly. April 28, 2019.
Eliana shows one of the ultrasounds that revealed that her second daughter, Samara, was going to be born in 2017 with microcephaly. April 28, 2019.
Eliana and her daughter, Samara, participate in a Christmas celebration for children with microcephaly in a restaurant of Cali. After the Zika epidemic, many mothers formed groups in different cities of Colombia to support each other, especially to solve the difficulties to access health services and face the injustices of medical insurances. December 21, 2019.
Eliana and her daughter, Samara, participate in a Christmas celebration for children with microcephaly in a restaurant of Cali. After the Zika epidemic, many mothers formed groups in different cities of Colombia to support each other, especially to solve the difficulties to access health services and face the injustices of medical insurances. December 21, 2019.
During the Christmas celebration for children with microcephaly in a restaurant of Cali, Brianna, 8, holds her sister, Samara. Sometimes Brianna feels that she is relegated from her mother love, because Eliana must be more aware upon Samara, due to her condition. December 21, 2019.
During the Christmas celebration for children with microcephaly in a restaurant of Cali, Brianna, 8, holds her sister, Samara. Sometimes Brianna feels that she is relegated from her mother love, because Eliana must be more aware upon Samara, due to her condition. December 21, 2019.
Samara and her mother in a swallowing test, which showed no abdominal severity in the girl. The test took place at Farallones Clinic, south of Cali. April 15, 2019.
Samara and her mother in a swallowing test, which showed no abdominal severity in the girl. The test took place at Farallones Clinic, south of Cali. April 15, 2019.
Despite the difficulties of having an orphan disease, Samara finds quite a few moments of love with her family, especially with her mother. April 26, 2019.
Despite the difficulties of having an orphan disease, Samara finds quite a few moments of love with her family, especially with her mother. April 26, 2019.
Samara with her mother in a vision test at the Institute for the Blind and Deaf Children of Valle del Cauca, in Cali. Due to the microcephaly, the girl was born with congenital strabismus. April 12, 2019.
Samara with her mother in a vision test at the Institute for the Blind and Deaf Children of Valle del Cauca, in Cali. Due to the microcephaly, the girl was born with congenital strabismus. April 12, 2019.
Brianna, who is headlong in a handrail, kisses her sister Samara in Santa Elena neighborhood’s park, close to their house. April 28, 2019.
Brianna, who is headlong in a handrail, kisses her sister Samara in Santa Elena neighborhood’s park, close to their house. April 28, 2019.
Eliana combs Brianna, 8, who holds her sister Samara in the yard of the house where they live. April 28, 2019.
Jean Paul Velázquez, 42, plays with his daughter Samara in her room.
Jean Paul Velázquez, 42, plays with his daughter Samara in her room. The father is the only one who works in the family after Eliana quit her job to devote herself full time to the child. “Even if I work almost all the time and sometimes come home very late, Samara has helped me to be a better father, she has taught me to love my family more”, Jean Paul says. November 5, 2019.
Every October 20, Eliana makes a colorful birthday party for Samara. “Being a mother of a girl with microcephaly reduces to three things: love, sacrifice and faith. I stopped being a woman to become a full-time caregiver”, the mother says. October 20, 2019.
Every October 20, Eliana makes a colorful birthday party for Samara. “Being a mother of a girl with microcephaly reduces to three things: love, sacrifice and faith. I stopped being a woman to become a full-time caregiver”, the mother says. October 20, 2019.
Samuel Felipe López, 12, kiss her cousin Samara during her third birthday. October 20, 2019.
Samuel Felipe López, 12, kiss her cousin Samara during her third birthday. October 20, 2019.
Samuel holds Samara during a mass at the Adventist Church in the La Independencia neighborhood, south of Cali. All Eliana’s family are adventist for tradition. April 27, 2019.
Samuel holds Samara during a mass at the Adventist Church in the La Independencia neighborhood, south of Cali. All Eliana’s family are adventist for tradition. April 27, 2019.
Brianna, 8, holds her sister Samara at their house, in Santa Elena neighborhood, south of Cali. “I love to play with my sister when I arrive from school”, Brianna says. November 20, 2019.
Brianna, 8, holds her sister Samara at their house, in Santa Elena neighborhood, south of Cali. “I love to play with my sister when I arrive from school”, Brianna says. November 20, 2019.
Corcino Mina family waiting for an Uber at the entrance of their house. April 27, 2019.
Corcino Mina family waiting for an Uber at the entrance of their house. April 27, 2019.
Eliana and Samara go to a medical appointment. Due to her condition, the girl should be treated by about 10 specialists. April 9, 2019.
Eliana and Samara go to a medical appointment. Due to her condition, the girl should be treated by about 10 specialists. April 9, 2019.

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