Juanita

What would you do for your sister? How much would you sacrifice? For Juanita, there is nothing she would not do to take care of her family.  Her sister was beaten and left for dead by her husband, who then murdered their youngest child. Juanita still has nightmares about that night and her eyes well with tears when she remembers searching for the little boy who they buried on Christmas Eve.  After four months in the hospital, her sister was discharged from the hospital-now blind and a quadriplegic, unable to care for herself or her two surviving children. Juanita and her family took them all in to live in their cramped apartment.  She quit her job to provide round the clock care for her sister and her two remaining children. To support the family, Juanita’s husband was working 6 days a week as a roofer, making barely enough to take care of all of their expenses. Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary effort and the local SVdP Conference has stepped in over the past 6 years when needed to assist with rent, food, medicine, adult diapers, liquid nutrition, medical equipment, respite nursing care, and even Christmas gifts for the children. We’ve supported them through legal proceedings and served as advocates for them as they just try to get through each day.  But life does go on and Juanita has had two additional children over the years. The little girl is named after her sister. Although she is exhausted, she is never resentful or would consider putting her sister in an institution. She just smiles and says “I love my sister” as she kisses her forehead.