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Mateo's Story: A call for prevention

Mateo’s accident, a 7-year-old boy, reminds us of the crucial importance of prevention and awareness regarding the dangers surrounding children. At the age of 4, while he was at home with his two older brothers, a game with matches in a small warehouse used to store clothes, unleashed a tragedy that changed his life forever: the room caught fire and the flames reached the little boy, causing second and third degree burns over a large part of his body.

In the face of the emergency, his 13-year-old brother, inspired by a scene from a movie, used a wet blanket to rescue Mateo from the fire. Full of concern, the brothers did not hesitate to call their parents, who were at work at that time. Fortunately, the parents' response was instantaneous; their prompt action allowed Mateo to be immediately transferred to several hospitals in search of the vital medical attention he required.

While being treated at a public hospital in Guanajuato, Mexico, the family was contacted by Shriners Children's, and they were informed that the child was suitable to be transferred to Texas to receive specialized treatment at no cost. Though somewhat skeptical, the family decided to accept help and were transferred to Galveston to receive the necessary care.

The transfer to Texas was carried out by air and Mateo was treated at Shriners Children's Texas for three and a half months due to the severe burns he suffered. His father, Vicente, expressed his deep gratitude, recognizing that the organization's intervention was crucial for Mateo's survival.

I am very grateful because if it weren't for Shriners Children's, Mateo wouldn't be today with us.
Vicente, Mateo's father

In a statement, Mateo emphasized the lesson learned: "You don't have to touch matches, lighters, or stoves because you can get burned." Vicente made a call to awareness and special care for children, pointing out that sometimes a game can put them in dangerous situations.

Today, Mateo is a happy child who receives ongoing care at Shriners Children's Mexico to treat the sequelae of burns. His experience highlights the importance of following medical advice and educating children about the risks of handling dangerous objects.

This story is a call to awareness and special care for children. Mateo reminds us that prevention is the key to avoiding similar tragedies and creating safe environments where the little ones can grow and play safely.

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