• Author: Joaquin
  • Date Submitted: Apr 22, 2021
  • Category: CMNH Local Champions

Meet our local 2020-2021 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion

Joaquin Tiburcio Vargas, Age 3

Down Syndrome

Beating the odds from day one, Joaquin is a constant inspiration to those who get to interact with him and watch him develop. Totally enamored by his smile, charm, and bubbly personality, the pediatric nurses at Salinas Valley Health Medical Center nominated him to be our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion.

JoaquinJoaquin was born March 29, 2018 with Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that comes with a list of increased health risks and complications including a shortened life expectancy. When Joaquin’s mom Ana, heard the news she felt shocked and overwhelmed. She remembers the doctor saying, “you can still love your child.” These words stung because Joaquin was already loved even before he was born. Like all parents that just gave birth, she just wanted to know if Joaquin would be healthy.

Fortunately, little Joaquin was doing great! Joaquin was officially ready to enter the world and begin his journey to living his best life. In order for him to do that, Joaquin’s parents would need to connect to the resources that were available, understand the diagnosis better, create a support system, and develop a plan for Joaquin to receive services that would provide him with the best care to give him a bright future.

Due to the many complications that come with having Down Syndrome, about a year later, Joaquin was admitted to Salinas Valley Health Medical Center for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a virus that can be quite harmful for kids who have a weakened immune system. A few months later, Joaquin found himself back at Salinas Valley Health Medical Center, this time for kidney infections. Despite the various diagnoses, Joaquin’s time at Salinas Valley Health Medical Center brought out his true personality. Pretty soon, the nurses, doctors, and staff found themselves charmed by his contagious smile and laughter. Even Joaquin’s mom was surprised at how cooperative and positive he was, regardless of the pain he was enduring. Joaquin became a superstar in the Pediatrics Unit and throughout the medical center, brightening anyone’s day who interacted with him.

JoaquinAccess to early life services such as speech, occupational, and physical therapy contribute to improving the life of a child with Down Syndrome, giving them the chance to live life to its fullest potential. CMN Hospitals’ mission is to support the healthcare needs of kids like Joaquin, and that includes making sure that those services are available. Our local program provides necessary support for equipment, services, and programs within the medical center and throughout the tri-county area, ensuring that every child has what they need to thrive.

Join us on Joaquin’s Journey and learn about the variety of resources, tools, and support your contributions provide to kids like Joaquin in our own tri-county area.