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Sarah's campaign reaches Ministry

Sarah and her parents during their visit to the Ministry of Health.
Sarah and her parents during their visit to the Ministry of Health. / SUR
  • Sarah Almagro and her family, from Marbella, have taken their petition to improve the Orthoprosthetic Catalogue to the Ministry of Health

The family of Sarah Almagro, the teenager from Marbella whose hands and feet had to be amputated after she developed meningococcal sepsis, are continuing to fight to improve quality of life, not only for her but for anybody else who finds themselves in her difficult situation. They have started a campaign to ask for a better Orthoprosthetic Catalogue to be available on the health service, with higher quality equipment, co-financing and individual study of each case.

Sarah and her parents have taken this petition in person to the Minister of Health, María Luisa Carcedo, "because it is not the same to see it on social media or in a letter as to look directly into Sarah's eyes", says her father, Ismael. According to the present catalogue, Sarah would only be entitled to "hooks, like the ones on the machines in the fairground" to replace her hands, he says, pointing out that the document is 15 years old and there have been huge technological advances in prostheses during that time.

Sarah is waiting for bionic hands which will look lifelike and function in a similar way to natural ones. This has been made possible thanks to the 'Somos tu ola' fundraising campaign, but the Almagro family is still fighting so that this dramatic situation doesn't occur with anyone else and because they want to give something back to society. "With all the help we have been given it would be egotistical to just do this for my daughter. It has to benefit others as well," says Ismael.

They are asking for the catalogue to be updated, but also for the tetravalent vaccine to be included on the inoculation calendar and for there to be a protocol in cases of sepsis in the same way there are protocols for cancer. They are satisfied with the response from the Ministry, and although there has been no firm commitment, say "they are sensitive" to the situation.

Ismael Almagro has also contacted the Royal Household and requested an audience with Queen Emeritus Sofia, to give visibility to these cases.

Meanwhile, their everyday fight continues. At the end of this month Sarah will have to have a kidney transplant. Her father is donating one of his. "I would give her my heart if I had to. You have to do everything necessary for your child," says Ismael, whose only thought is that after the transplant Sarah will no longer depend on dialysis. One step further for Sarah, on her long and difficult journey to recovery.