Since Roberto’s first stroke, his wife has been working long hours as a cleaner to earn money for the family. Their eldest son is also helping with expenses. Much of the family’s income is used to buy the special diapers that Roberto needs. “Fortunately his medication and check-ups are free of charge but sometimes we just don’t have the money for the bus to take us to the local medical centre,” Noemia continues. But the burden is even greater: this family not only lost its breadwinner, but also a devoted father and grandfather, in whom each family member could confide. Roberto is now trapped in his own body and always needs someone to feed him and see to his most basic needs. Noemia carries him in and out of the house so he can take a breath of air from time to time. “We all wish we could get him a wheelchair,” she says. Noemia and four of her brothers and sisters also suffer from high blood pressure.
© World Health Organization