"We applaud your strength. You are an example for many and make us realise that people can carry on and do well in life, no matter what may happen to them. I am proud of you." With these words the founder and president of the Global Gift Foundation, María Bravo, handed over a symbolic cheque this week for the amount raised at a charity event in Dubai to help Sarah Almagro buy the prostheses she needs.
The teenager had to have both hands and feet amputated after suffering from sepsis. Sarah's parents, Ismael and Silvia, were also at Marbella town hall to receive the donation and were visibly moved by the gesture.
Like the rest of the money raised so far, these 50,000 euros will be paid into the account opened by the non-profit-making association 'Somos Tu Ola' to manage the donations. María Bravo praised the efforts made by Sarah and her parents to change the vaccination system and improve the ortho-prosthetic equipment available to amputees. "Sarah, you are a reflection of your parents, and that is because your parents are incredible," she said.
Silvia Vallejo, Sarah's mother, thanked everyone who has been supporting her daughter in recent months. "We are so grateful for all this support, and to those who raise awareness of this case and of our wish to help others," she said.
Their determination paid off, because two weeks ago Ismael and Silvia had a meeting at the Junta de Andalucía's Ministry of Health, with the general secretary, Faustino Blanco, and the director of the Health Promotion department, Aurora Limia.
"They told us that they will start using the tetravalent vaccine, because the one they are using at present isn't scientifically proven to cover 100 per cent of cases," explained Ismael. He and his wife are also calling for the sepsis code, which is activated when a case is detected in hospital, to remain active until the moment the patient is discharged.
Marbella's Social Rights councillor, Isabel Cintado, was also present at the event and described Sarah as an example of enthusiasm, fortitude and achievement.
"We are sure that very soon you will be able to carry on with your projects where you were forced to leave off," she told her.