Things That Matter

A Nurse Stepped Up To Help After This Photo Drew Attention To The Humanitarian Crisis In Venezuela

When an image of a malnourished Venezuelan child was shown in a New York Times article, there was an immediate reaction. The image made headlines across the internet. Whether it was the visual representation of the humanitarian crisis happening in Venezuela or the sheer shock of a starving child, it got people’s attention. Specifically, Fabiola Molero, a nurse within a Roman Catholic aid group, Caritas.

This image highlighted the reality of what’s happening in Venezuela as food prices have doubled and hunger has become a major issue for many.

Anailin Nava is just two years old and was suffering from severe malnutrition due to lack of food and medicine. Making things worse was Nava having a genetic neurological disease, which causes convulsions and muscular problems.

Her ailments make eating and digesting a difficult task for the young child. Her family can’t afford to feed her more than once a day and, when they do, it is rice or cornmeal.

The image was enough to convince Molero to make the journey to the western city of Maracaibo to Toas Island, where Nava lives. Molero, who had been a nurse for the past 20 years, quit three years ago and became a volunteer with Caritas. She did this so she could help people like situations like Nava’s and fight the hunger epidemic that’s devastating Venezuela.

“I worked in a hospital and quit because I couldn’t handle the fact that children were dying in my arms for lack of food,” Molero told the New York Times.

So she packed nutritional supplements like milk and food and hitchhiked from the western city of Maracaibo to Toas. She set off with a mission to help the young girl and others just like her in the community.

The state of Zulia, which Toas is part of, has seen some of the worst effects of the country’s economic fall.

The island is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to resources like food and aid. It’s also been practically removed from the mainland after boats that were used as public transport broke down recently.

According to Anailin’s mother, Maibeli, the little aid that comes by from the government arrives every five months. Yet, that doesn’t last very long as they are consumed by families in less than a week.

This has been the result of unsustainable inflation the country has seen recently that has seen food prices double. Nine out of 10 Venezuelans do not feel they have sufficient resources to buy food which has left many people like Nava malnourished.

Since Molero has arrived, she’s helped Nava and other children in the neighborhood with basic nutrients and food.

“My baby had deteriorated and was in a very bad state,” Maibeli who is 25, told the New York Times. “I thought my daughter was going to die. She didn’t even give me her hand when I tried playing with her.”

Maibeli says that the nurses help made an immediate difference to her daughter’s health. But there are still concerns for her and other young children on the island that face similar situations.

Out of 26 children examined by Molero, 10 weren’t eating enough. Almost all of had blisters and abscesses in their skin most likely caused by poor water conditions.

The image provoked an immediate response from people around the world wanting to help Venezuela.

The image, which first appeared in the New York Times on May 17th, prompted a wide response from people wanting to help.

One user said, “how can I help 2-year-old Anailin Nava?”. Another asked, “there any way to help Maibeli Nava and her daughter Anailin?”

While other volunteers are expected to come to Toas, there is still a need for more help. Basic items for babies like milk are of necessity, as well as gasoline to help deliver the food.

“The condition of our children gets worse every day,” Molero said. “We’re working by the strength of our nails here because we barely have any resources.”

Read: This Graphic Image Of A Venezuelan Mother Carrying Her Daughter’s Dead Body To A Morgue Amidst The Country’s Massive Blackout Has Social Media Users Heartbroken

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4-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Hung Herself While Climbing A Tree

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4-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Hung Herself While Climbing A Tree

A mother living in the United Kingdom is enduring a “hellstorm of grief” following the tragic death of her 4-year-old daughter. Just days after welcoming her twin daughters, Elise Thorpe was forced to learn of her daughter Freya’s shocking death after she climbed a tree near her home in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire.

Just before her death, Freya was wearing a bicycle helmet when she went for her tree clim.

Freya slipped and began to fall off of the tree when her helmet strap caught on to a branch.

Elisa Thorpe is speaking out about the incident which took place in September 2019 despite efforts to resuscitate her daughter by emergency responders. According to Yahoo, “An inquest into her death in January 2020 ruled that she ‘potentially slipped’ and her helmet caught on a branch, causing the helmet strap to become ‘tight against her throat.’ She died in hospital two days later.”

Speaking about the incident Elise told The Sun “We live every day and night in hell, torture, sheer shock, and grief that can’t be comprehended.”

Elise told South West News Service that she and her husband “were on cloud nine after the long-awaited arrival and difficult pregnancy” of their twins Kiera and Zack. Speaking about the grief she experienced, Elise said that she would have taken her own life had it not been for the birth of her children.

Recalling the day of Freya’s death, Elise explained that her little girl had gone for a playdate.

“In the early afternoon, Daddy had to go off to collect the special milk from Boots pharmacy in Cowley for the twins, as they were allergic to cow’s milk,” Elise Thorpe explained about how her daughter had been invited to play at a house just a 10-second walk away.

Freya had gone outside without her mother knowing.

“I had a gut feeling I wanted her home. Shortly after, I saw an ambulance at the end of the road – I panicked, at the time not knowing why I was panicking,” Elise told SWNS. “I called my husband to say I was going to get her back from the house behind. He said, ‘No, I’m five minutes away, stay with the babies.’”

“I saw his car go past and not return from the little cul-de-sac. I knew something was wrong,” she went onto explain. After spotting her husband speaking with a firefighter, Elise “grabbed the twins and rushed to a cordoned area where she saw first responders working desperately on Freya.”

After two days of waiting at John Radcliffe Hospital, the Thorpe family learned Freya could not be saved.

“I never stepped foot inside my home again. This is something I also lost and miss to this day — my home,” Elise went onto say. “Had I not given birth only 10 days before we would have taken our lives in the hospital that night, without a shadow of a doubt… We have had so much support over the last 18 months and we can’t tell you all how much that’s helped us through and for that I can never thank everyone enough for the support, kind words and donations – even from those we’ve never met.”

“But we’ve also experienced scrutiny and abuse from people who’ve asked, ‘Where were the parents? How could they let her out alone?’” she added sadly. “It has caused family rifts from relatives and judgment all because people didn’t know Freya wasn’t in our care when this happened.”

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Democratic Senators Introduce Legislation to Grant Venezuelan Migrants Temporary Protected Status, Prevent Deportation

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Democratic Senators Introduce Legislation to Grant Venezuelan Migrants Temporary Protected Status, Prevent Deportation

Photo via Getty Images

After years of living in a state of uncertainty about their future, Venezuelan refugees in the U.S. might finally be granted long-term protection by the U.S. government.

On Monday, Democratic senators took the official steps towards granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelan migrants in the U.S.

A similar resolution passed in the House in 2019, but was blocked by Republicans in the senate.

This time if passed, TPS could protect 200,000 Venezuelan citizens currently in the U.S, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.

Although former President Trump issued a Deferred Enforced Departure decree (DED) on his final day in office, critics and immigration experts alike argue that this action didn’t go far enough.

“After four years of empty promises and deceit, nobody believes Donald Trump had an epiphany on his last day in office and decided to protect the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans he was forcing into the shadows,” said New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez in a statement.

Indeed, Trump DED order only delayed deportation of undocumented Venezuelans for up to 18 months. But TPS would grant Venezuelan refugees protected status.

“TPS is an immigration status that can lead to a green card under President Joe Biden’s immigration proposal,” Miami-based immigration lawyer Laura Jimenez told NBC News.

“TPS is based in statute and is a legal immigration status, as opposed to Deferred Enforced Departure,” Menendez, who was born in New York City to Cuban immigrants, said. “That is why we are relaunching our campaign to actually stand with those fleeing the misery caused by the Maduro regime.”

Throughout his campaign, President Biden promised he would extend Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelan refugees, so now the refugee community wants to see him act on that promise.

Venezuela’s economy collapsed under the repressive regime of Nicolás Maduro, shrinking by approximately 64%.

Not only are there widespread food shortages and massive inflation, but Maduro’s critics are being jailed and silenced by other nefarious means.

Because of all this, the South American country facing what Bloomberg calls “a refugee crisis of unprecedented proportions.” As of now, some 5.4 million Venezuelans are in exile, with 600 more leaving the country every day.

But with the news of a likely extension of Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans in the U.S., many Venezuelans are starting to feel optimistic about the future.

“Now, I feel like I’m really a part of this society and we keep supporting this country,” said Tampa resident Jennifer Infante to Bay News 9 about the recent Congressional news. “I think we deserve this opportunity because we came to make this country a better place and to keep moving forward.”

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