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Our Nurse of the Week is Fabiola Molero, a nurse with a Roman Catholic aid group called Caritas, who saw a viral photo of a young malnourished girl and decided to hitchhike to deliver aid. Molero immediately packed a bag with a scale and a 15-day supply of nutritional supplements, milk, and food, and hitchhiked from the western city of Maracaibo to Toas Island where the young girl from the photo lives. 

The image of the young Venezuelan girl began to circulate at the end of May and drew some strong reactions. It’s a photo of a 2-year-old girl plagued by malnutrition and untreated illness lying on her back in a dilapidated room. 

Molero tells The New York Times that she quit her job working in a hospital because she couldn’t handle children dying in her arms from a lack of food. She set off with a goal of helping Anailin, the young girl from the photo, and to assess the condition of other children in Anailin’s community. 

The children in Anailin’s community suffer from severe malnutrition in addition to genetic neurological disease which can cause convulsions, muscular problems, and make digestion more difficult. A lack of medicine makes their conditions even worse. Children in that condition can be treated at home until they’re strong enough to travel to a doctor. Molero’s arrival with food made an immediate difference. 

Out of 26 children that Molero was able to evacuate from the area, 10 were malnourished. Almost all suffered from blisters and abscesses caused by poor water quality. Molero is working with other volunteers to plan a medical visit to deliver nutritional supplements and evaluate another 40 children. 

To learn more about Fabiola Molero, a nurse who hitchhiked through Venezuela to deliver aid to an area where children suffer from severe malnutrition, visit here

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