Gonzalo Rodrigo Case History

 Gonzalo is the first child of Maria Laura and Andres Rodrigo Tommei. He was born in Argentina after thirty-eight weeks of pregnancy, anticipated by his parents with the love and the longing for their first baby.

Gonzalo

Today Gonzalo is nineteen years old, and he has survive thanks to the DHA-EE treatment that started in February 1996 when he met Dr. Martinez.

No one suspected his disease despite Gonzalo’s abnormal performance from the time he was a little boy. A few days after he was born, he fell into a hypotonic state.  His muscle tone was so poor that it did not allow him to take a steady position, and becoming extremely weak, he could not even take breast milk. We took him immediately to intensive care at children’s hospital where he stayed for seventeen days.

Few weeks later, his eyes started to move with lack of control; he suffered from nystagmus.  The doctors’ prognosis started scaring us because they said that Gonzalo could end up being blind and deaf because something was wrong with his neurological system. It took the doctors fifteen months to reach their final diagnosis: Gonzalo, affected with a Generalized Peroxisome Disorder, was given an estimated three years to live.

We were in despair when God guide us to find Dr. Manuela Martinez thorough a family who lived in the south of our country.  They had a girl with the same disease.  When we flew to Barcelona to meet Dr. Martinez, she gave us hope to provide Gonzalo with a quality of life. Gonzalo immediately started a treatment with DHA-EE. It was a miracle to see how Gonzalo improved in health, how he grew up and how he keeps learning new things in life.

GRT & Mom

Gonzalo horsebackGRT beach
GRT chairliftGRTbeach2

We always include Gonzalo in all our family activities.  Gonzalo has a sister who loves him much. We try to please Gonzalo in doing the things he likes the most like going to the beach or doing back ride horsing. Gonzalo attends a school every day that teaches him new skills.  Despite his blindness and deafness, he can perform job activities. He loves plants and has a summer job working in the nursery. He takes care of flowerpots and small trees, moves leaf land and mulch bags and helps to organize the warehouse. In addition, he has worked in a supermarket organizing packages in the inventory.

GRTandsister GRTommei

Gonzalo is a happy young person; we love him and he knows he has a family that would do anything to assist him.

GRTfamily

With the support of Perkins Institution we founded a school to help him and other children with special needs to improve in life.  Our idea was to empower Gonzalo and children with disabilities to achiever their greatest potential. We wanted a place for Gonzalo.  We are very proud of this achievement. Gonzalo case was included as a success history in the www.perkingsinternational.org a foundation that is described below.

GRTandMomolder

To have met Manuela and to receive DHA-EE at the right time are some of the greatest gifts that Gonzalo has had in life.  We thank God for the happiness and joy that Gonzalo has brought to into our lives.

The Tommei Family

Gonzalo's family

Success Stories “A place for Gonzalo.

“Always!”

That’s how long Maria Laura Tommei says she’s known her son would be successful.

Tommei’s 19-year-old son Gonzalo is deafblind. For many in his home country of Argentina, it’s difficult to believe that a young man without sight or vision can hold a job or plant a garden – at least until they meet his family. The Tommeis have done everything to ensure Gonzalo’s success. When they couldn’t find a school that met Gonzalo’s needs, they started their own school near their home in Rosario.

“We have always tried to think about Gonzalo’s future,” said Tommei. “We work hard to maximize the possibilities for him to have a dignifying and happy life.”

The Tommeis opened their school, Mi Lugar, in 2003. Since then, they have not only succeeded in maximizing Gonzalo’s quality of life, but also the lives of dozens of other children and their families. Mi Lugar, which means “My Place,” is a Therapeutic Education Center for children and young adults with deafblindness or multiple sensory needs.

“We chose the name Mi Lugar because we were looking for a place that we could feel was our own,” said Tommei. “We needed a space for our children and their families to learn and be supported. Still today, there is no other place that compares to Mi Lugar.”

Eighteen students, ages 4 to 26, currently attend Mi Lugar. Because of the school’s limited physical space, young adults attend a Transition to Adulthood program in the morning and younger students come during the afternoon.

Mi Lugar provides more than just an academic education. An important part of the school’s mission is to teach students to participate in their local community. Many activities and communication techniques are offered with that goal in mind.

“I think that Mi Lugar exposes children of all ages to an inclusive community – and that community empowers the students and their families,” said Tommei.

Understanding that families play a crucial role in helping children with multiple sensory disabilities learn and thrive, the Tommeis established regular parent teacher meetings and free parent workshops.

“No family chooses to have a person with deafblindness, but it is through that challenge that we grow and we make sure that they have everything they need,” said Tommei.

Perkins International’s Latin America headquarters, based in nearby Córdoba, helped launch the school’s parent services. When Mi Lugar wanted to offer advanced trainings, counseling services, and ongoing assessments to identify the unique learning needs of each student, they also turned to the local Perkins office for help.

http://www.perkinsinternational.org/success_stories/a-place-for-gonzalo