Jairo García, 29, and Marina Lara, 23, are the parents of Carlota, a four-year-old girl from Vélez-Málaga who spent her birthday in August in Malaga’s Hospital Materno after contracting septicaemia from a streptococcus bacteria.
The nightmare started on 4 August when Carlota started to experience bad gastroenteritis and a high temperature.
Her parents took her to their local doctor, who sent them to the Axarquía hospital in Torre del Mar. From there Carlota was sent to the Materno hospital in Malaga, after being diagnosed with a blood infection.
Carlota has since spent 40 days in the children’s hospital and doctors have said that she will have to have both feet and hands amputated because of the damage caused by microthrombus.
Carlota’s case is identical to that of Sarah Almagro, the teenager from Marbella who lost her hands and feet in 2018. However, Carlota’s parents decided to seek a second opinion for their daughter.
They sought the advice of Dr Ruano, who told the family that Carlota could wait a further 15 days from 4 September, the date that doctors at Malaga’s Materno hospital were initially planning to operate on the little girl.
Jairo and Marina contacted the renowned Dr Pedro Cavadas, who is based in Valencia. In a medical report he told the family that that it would possible for Carlota to keep her four limbs.
“Here they tell us that they need to amputate her right arm and left leg completely, the right foot up to the heel and the fingers of her left hand. Dr Cavadas has explained that she could keep more limbs,”said Jairo, who has a temporary contract at Vélez-Málaga town hall.
“We don’t have any money, we don’t even know how much the operation in Valencia would cost, but just transporting her there would cost 6,000 euros. The stay in hospital would cost 200 euros per day while she is on the ward and in intensive care it would be 600 euros,” he added.
The family has created a Facebook page to raise funds for Carlota. However, they are racing against the clock. “We need to be very mindful that the necrosis could advance towards her open wounds, which could become infected. If that becomes the case then they would have to operate, otherwise her life would be in danger,”Jairo explained.
”We know it’s risky, but we want to try it,”he admitted.
Jairo pointed out that the care and attention the family is receiving from the Materno hospital is “fantastic”. He added that they haven’t left Carlota’s side in the hospital’s intensive care unit in the 40 days she has been there and have “hardly slept”.
Jairo explained that at the moment Carlota is “responding well” to treatment and that her organs are working on their own.
Earlier this week they published the bank account details on the Facebook page to receive donations. “We are a humble family and the operation needs to take place in a private hospital with extremely high costs involved, which, as much as we want to, makes it impossible for us to cover the costs.”
Less than 24 hours after the family started the Facebook page they were inundated with support, not just from Malaga, but from across Spain and other countries.
The Hospital Materno Infantil in Malaga has said that the family “has been told that the operation can go ahead with all the guarantees”there.
“In fact, the surgeons have already programmed a date for the operation.” A spokesperson added that this type of intervention “is common” at the hospital and that it has an excellent reputation in this type of surgery.
“Despite this, the medical professionals and hospital management respect the fact that, as with any other patient, this child can go to a different centre to have the operation, which would be undergone under the same conditions as the Materno Infantil,” the hospital went on to say.
The Vélez-Málaga branch of the Partido Popular (PP) political party has called on the town’s residents as well as the town hall to help Carlota’s family economically.
PP spokesperson, Francisco Delgado Bonilla, said that in this type of case, “Citizens can’t be insensitive or indifferent and we all need to help out. And when I say everybody, Imean everybody, from neighbours to the town hall, of course.”