Ana Belén was told she’d have to be in a wheelchair by age 20 but it happened by age nine. Then came her miracle. She had been misdiagnosed. She had endured painful treatments to alleviate a dystrophy that she never had in the first place.
Doctor Gutiérrez developed a clinical eye from his time at Bellvitge Hospital at the University of Barcelona. The knowledge and experience he brought back to Costa Rica made him suspect that Ana had a different problem than what was diagnosed.
Tests confirmed she had myasthenic syndrome, with a much better prognosis than she heard before. She started treatment and saw great changes in just two days. The medicine was already available in Costa Rica but doctors trained to spot the condition were not.
The 11-year-old now rides a bike, runs in snow, and will be walking in the sixth grade parade. There are others like her, with the same misdiagnosis and now the same hope of a better future.