Specialist Ernesto Garcia has served his country proudly for the past 14 years, as both a Marine and a soldier in the Army. Ernesto is a loving husband and father of 3 children, ages 10, 5 and 17 months. His middle child, Lauro, suffers from congenital heart disease and Costello Syndrome, also known as Faciocutaneoskeletal (FCS) Syndrome. FCS Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body. It is characterized by delayed development and mental retardation, distinctive facial features, unusually flexible joints, and loose folds of extra skin, especially on the hands and feet. Heart abnormalities are common, including a very fast heartbeat (tachycardia), structural heart defects, and overgrowth of the heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). At birth, Lauro was expected to live just one year, but he boldly surpassed the original prognosis. Sadly, Lauro’s life expectancy is now projected to be just 3-5 more years. As a result of his condition, Lauro requires around-the-clock in-home healthcare, which is provided by both his mother, and a home health nurse. Bathing Lauro three times a day is just one example of the care that is needed for this little boy.
With Ernesto’s wife, Ana, providing care to Laura, as well as raising their other two children, the family is only living off of Ernesto’s modest military pay. The family has a lot of expenses for Lauro’s care, and even basic needs like diapers, wet wipes, deodorizes, etc. weigh on their daily finances. Not even diapers are covered by their insurance provider, so money is very tight each and every day.
The very deserving family was surprised with tickets to Collin Raye's performance tonight in New Braunfels, TX. After the third song, Collin called the family up on stage and assisted W4OH in presenting the Garcia's with Spurs tickets and $1,000 in aid to assist with their current needs. Collin Raye was the perfect person to grant this wish, because as many of you know, he lost his granddaughter, Haley, at the age of 9 to a very rare disease. The Garcia family really touched Collin as they persevere each day through Lauro's life-threatening illness. Collin, Dave, Jonathan, Bernie, and The Republic Group – thank you guys for making this night special. To all of our volunteers, friends, and most importantly, our heroes, thank you for making WISH for OUR HEROES possible.
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