Show Less
Restricted access

Serving Refugee Children

Listening to Stories of Detention in the USA

Edited By Montse Feu and Amanda Venta

Serving Refugee Children shows the struggles and traumatic experiences that unaccompanied and undocumented children undergo they seek safety in the United States and instead find imprisonment, separation from their families, and immigration enforcement raids. Current legislation and bureaucracy limit publication of first-person narratives from unaccompanied and undocumented children, but service providers and grassroots activists authoring the pieces in this collection bear witness to the children’s brave human spirits in their search for safety in the United States. Through the power of storytelling, Serving Refugee Children exposes the many hardships unaccompanied and undocumented children endure, including current detention center conditions. No child should have to live the persecution suffered by children featured in these stories, nor should they have to embark upon perilous journeys across Latin America or be subjected to the difficult immigration court process unaided. Researchers and readers who believe that the emotional bonding of storytelling can humanize discussions and lead to immigration policies that foster a culture of engagement and interconnectedness will be interested in this volume.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 11. Luz M. Garcini and Martin La Roche


Garcini and La Roche write the account of their recent relationship with Juan, an undocumented 18-year old adolescent at the hospice in California where they provided him with palliative care in 2014. A native of a small rural town in Northern Mexico, Juan was born with a congenital heart defect and according to his physicians his life expectancy was no more than 15 years. Given his mother’s lack of financial resources and inadequate access to medical care, Juan’s chances for survival in Mexico were slim. Thus, his mother, determined to give her son a chance to live, embarked him on a journey to the United States. Her hope was to find a new heart for Juan that would save his life

I first met Juan, a thin 18-year-old who smiled with his eyes, at the inpatient hospice unit where I worked (first author). His mother, Guadalupe, sat beside him as he struggled to breathe. Despite his difficulties, he cheerfully looked directly into my eyes and said in Spanish “Hola Doctora, do you want to hear my favorite Bible verse? ‘I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit ←177 | 178→within you’, Ezequiel 36:26.” He then kept silent for a few seconds perhaps battling with the dose of morphine that he had just received. He added, “I never got a new heart, but I kept the spirit.” Juan was born with a congenital heart defect and, according to his physicians, his life...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.