Luisito, the smiling 28-kilogram baby waiting for an answer that will save his life

The reasons are unknown, but the baby has fatty liver, fatty lung and fatty heart. His life is at risk.

PEDRO PARDO / AFP

Luis Manuel Gonzales is almost like any 10-month-old baby; he babbles his first words and wants to touch everything, but a dramatic difference puts his life at risk: he weighs 28 kilos and his father earns just little more than 200 dollars a month.

The case of this baby, who does not demand food constantly as you might think, is part of the universe of children with obesity. But the causes of their excessive weight are unknown.

Luisito was born on December 15, 2016 with a weight of 3.5 kilos and 52 centimeters. After two months, he weighed 10 kilos, and doubled in the following 8 months.

PEDRO PARDO / AFP
Luisito is photographed with his cousin Michel and his brother Mario, at his home in Tecomán, Colima, on November 8, November 2017.

“I thought it was because I had good milk in my breasts,” her 24-year-old mother, Isabel Pantoja, told AFP in the living room of her unpainted cement house in the municipality of Tecomán, state of Colima, on the Costa del Sol. Peaceful.

His parents have opened a Facebook page and a bank account to receive donations that help them finance their medical care. They take it in turns to take him in a ramshackle stroller to the hospital for the daily bloodshots.

PEDRO PARDO / AFP
Luisito and his mother Isabel Pantoja, 24 years old, are photographed at their home in Tecomán, Colima, on November 8, 2017.

The anguish of his parents was accentuated when a pediatrician told them that perhaps they will need hormone injections of about 555 dollars each, although in spite of several studies it is still unknown what they suffer from.

One of the main theories is that it could have Prader-Willi syndrome, which leaves children without a regulator of satiety, causes mental retardation, “jelly muscles” without strength, heart problems and affects the development of sexual organs.

Rapid increase

“In the course of the first month (of life) we were already bigger than his clothes, we had to put him in the size of 2, 3 year old and when he turned two months old I took him to his first Vaccine and he weighed around 9 to 10 kilos “, says Pantoja, who does not stop pampering Luisito.

For this family the walks through his town are over. The baby, who wears an adult diaper, gets very tired after spending half an hour in the same position and has to be carried and walked with, adds Gonzales, who, together with Pantoja, does not lose sight of the baby.

PEDRO PARDO / AFP
Luis Gonzales and his mother Isabel Pantoja, 24 years old, at his home in Tecomán, Colima.

During the interview with the parents, Luisito lets out a laugh when his fingers touch the soles of his feet while he throws the prankster’s hand hard, explores with his mouth any object that they give him and observes with curiosity the photographic equipment and video of the journalists. In short, she behaves like any baby his age and apparently spends many hours a day without asking for food.

What he can not do, regrets Pantoja, “is to crawl, can not walk, we can not bring him in a walker like other 10-month-old child”, but otherwise “he already sits down, already holds his little head, already tries to grab a bottle, “he continues.

Hopeful suspicion

About a month ago, Silvia Orozco, a surgeon with a master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from the Zone Diet Mexico center contacted them, a system created by an American dietitian. Confidence in the future of Luis Manuel was renewed.

The baby “has fatty liver, fatty lung and fatty heart, his life is very risky but we hope to be able to help him in time,” Orozco told AFP by telephone, expecting results from the latest samples sent to the United States.

He hopes that the tests confirm that he does not have Prader-Willi Syndrome and that his obesity is due to a “cellular inflation” caused by lack of anti-inflammatory nutrients that the mother had during pregnancy, causing “low thyroid function, low functioning of his adrenal glands responsible for metabolism. ”

In that case, the treatment would be hormonal, says Orozco, confident about the diagnosis of the baby who only eats milk formula low in fat, breast milk, and vegetable and fruit porridges.

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