Eskenazi Health Comes to the Aid of a Migrant Nicaraguan Family in Need

According to The New York Times, hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled their country in recent years, escaping terrible poverty and repression under an increasingly authoritarian government. Many of those countless individuals traveled in private charter buses for the first leg of a 1,800-mile journey with hopes of finding a new and better life in the United States.

For Ileana Medina de la Rocha, her husband Eddie and sons Victor, 5 years old (a big soccer fan) and Eddie Jr., 12, (who enjoys robotics), they all believed their situation in Nicaragua had become intolerable, so they made the decision to leave their home shores for good.

"In Nicaragua, they had a political crisis and there was protesting because the elderly were being denied their benefits such as Social Security,” Ileana said. “Amongst those protests there was a death of a child, and that’s when things started escalating.”

The long and arduous journey from Central America was fraught with issues and problems for Ileana and her family, but thus far it’s been worth going through all the strain and inconveniences that come from such a harrowing journey.

“My husband arrived in the United States first and settled here in Indiana, and we came here to join him,” Ileana said. “It was a very difficult immigration, but thank God we made it OK. It’s been a very difficult process to get established in the United States, but we’re going through the process now and we’re on our way.”

Getting accustomed to living in their new city of Indianapolis after experiencing all the turmoil they endured in their homeland has been quite a challenge for this incredibly resilient family.

“That was a radical change for us coming from Nicaragua to the United States,” she said. “There was a lot of challenges such as the language and differences for our children in education, which has been excellent. I didn’t come to the United States to become a millionaire, I came here to provide my children with a good education, and that remains my goal.”

It was through a connection with the school Ileana’s boys attend that led the family to an organization that has contributed greatly to their continued successful adjustment to life in the U.S.

“We started off through school requests by wanting vaccinations for our children and that’s how we became aware of Eskenazi Health,” Ileana said. “So after that, we made an appointment and followed all the instructions from health care professionals and it was an amazing experience, and we would consider it one of the best experiences we’ve had since arriving in the U.S. Anytime we’ve had health issues and we’ve come in for doctor appointments, the staff has been very kind and attentive. The Eskenazi Health professionals have treated us very well and we always follow the doctor’s instructions. They’ve put us in contact with social workers, community health workers and they’ve all helped us in various ways, so we’re very happy and will remain forever grateful to Eskenazi Health.”

Since arriving in Indianapolis, the family has had one health scare that required immediate attention.

“One time I became very ill and went to the Eskenazi Health emergency room,” Ileana said. “It was a moment when I was very sick and it turned out it was a kidney infection, and thankfully it was a very short while before I was stable and feeling better, and I can’t express how grateful I am for the wonderful care I received.”

The close-knit family of four that reads the bible and goes to church together, has had their share of ups and downs since arriving in the Hoosier state. Last Christmas was their first away from the land of their birth, providing the catalyst for a variety of emotions.

“The last holiday season was very sad for us in the beginning because we’re in a new place far away from home, which is not easy starting off in a new country, but the social workers and other professionals with Eskenazi Health - including the health workers - brought us gifts for our children, and also put us in touch with good people, and we’re now part of a larger community.

“I recommend Eskenazi Health 100 percent to people who come to the U.S. as we did, and everyone else. Aside from helping us with our health situations, Eskenazi Health has been tremendous in connecting us to other helpful resources and making sure our family is OK, for which we’ll always be grateful.” 

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