2016-02-14 08:30:00

Children's hospital 'Federico Gomez' rings bell of recovery

(Vatican Radio)  The emblem of the ‘Federico Gomez’ Children’s Hospital in Mexico City, where Pope Francis spends Sunday afternoon, relates to Aztec culture. The Aztecs took great care of their children, it seems.

Likewise all these centuries later the 2700 strong staff of the hospital take great care of the little patients there. Children with cancer, genetic malformation or neurological disorders.

Doctor José Alberto Garcia Aranda is Director of the structure and has worked there for 45 years. He’s a charismatic figure who as you’ll hear in a moment, believes everybody in the hospital counts.

Veronica Scarisbrick, who is in Mexico City with Pope Francis, spoke to him ahead of the visit and he expressed his joy explaining how two little children will ring a bell in the presence of the Pope, among whom seven year old Luz Elena, to signal their recovery.

Listen to the full interview:

The pope will be greeted at the hospital by twenty-five children and the nation’s ‘Primera Dama’, Angélica Rivera. It will represent a moment of joy in what for the children and their families is a harsh reality.

One of the problems Doctor Garcia adds, is where to lodge the families who accompany their little loved ones. They are very poor so are obliged to sleep in the streets outside the hospital.

Mexico City lies at over 2.000 feet above sea level so the temperature drops dramatically at night.  And then the hospital borders with a dangerous neighbourhood which doesn’t help. Curiously, its name is ‘Buenos Aires’.

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