Today is a big day for our Extraordinary TinySuperhero squad, because today their reach stretches outside of the United States. This is Súper Angel. He is from Guatemala, and last week his super powers were renewed and strengthened!
Angel is five years old, and was recently discovered as a TinySuperhero living in the rural Guatemalan Highlands. Angel’s family speaks the native Mayan language of Q’eqchi’ and are farmers in corn and bean fields. When we told Angel that he was a TinySuperhero he was shocked. Since he lived in such a rural part of the world, he’d never even heard of superheroes before!
Some TinySuperheroes are lucky enough to have awesome Superhero Mentors to help them hone their super powers. The World Pediatric Project (WPP) was this for Angel. WPP is an amazing organization based out of St. Louis, Missouri and Richmond, Virginia. They send medical teams to the Caribbean and Central America where they provide surgical and diagnostic treatment, develop prevention programs, enhance local healthcare, and organize for children to come to the US to receive the medical care they need. When the World Pediatric Project met Angel, it was clear he was a TinySuperhero in need.
Angel’s life has not been easy. Angel is one of five children in a very warm, loving family. He was born a twin, but lost his twin sister when they were just 6 weeks old. When Angel was six months old, a tumor began growing near his neck. They did tests in Guatemala but were unable to do provide any treatment or care to stop the tumor’s growth. Over the next four and a half years, the tumor continued to grow into what you’ll see in the photo below. The tumor’s weight made it difficult for Angel to even walk.
About six months ago, the tumor almost took our TinySuperhero’s life when it became infected. Surely Angel’s TinySuperhero sister helped coordinate The World Pediatric Project’s meeting of her brother on Earth just months later. Since the medical care Angel needed wasn’t available in Guatemala, WPP brought Angel and his father to St. Louis, Missouri for surgery at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
Just about two weeks ago, Angel received a surgery that will forever change his life. His father waited patiently through the day-long surgery, while his mother was back home anxiously awaiting her son’s return. The surgery was successful, and although Angel suffered an infection after surgery, he is expected to make a full recovery. Talk about life changing!
Imagine the freedom that Super Angel now has to fully use his super powers in our world! While he is certainly lucky to have The World Pediatric Project, we are even luckier to have met this Extraordinary TinySuperhero. His family and friends were so thrilled to have their Angel back home, and he certainly received a well-deserved TinySuperhero welcome!
Sùper Angel is now back in Guatemala, no doubt using his newly strengthened Super Powers to spread hope and joy through Central America. We feel so blessed to have met him, and we can’t wait to see the new life ahead of him! He was a little hesitant to wear his TinySuperhero cape because he’s been using his powers for so long without it, but he took it home with him and we hope it comes in handy. Sùper Angel has TinySuperhero friends who have been empowered by the WPP and are helping him protect Central America. We look forward to sharing their stories with you, and encourage you to learn more about the wonderful things WPP is doing for TinySuperheroes like Angel!