How Poverty Kills: En Memoria De Lilian Arevalo Galdamez

R.I.P: Lilian, beloved mother, community member, and IP Cook.

Lillian, 35, was a cook delegates loved, the mother of Vanessa, 10, and Brian, 8, and the wife of Moreno, the president of Palo Grande and employee at IP Centro Cassie.

We don’t really know what caused Lillian’s death, but the lack of medical care was a major factor. Moreno believes that it might have been hepatitis, but he never got a clear explanation of what it was or why she got it. Last October, Lillian had a benign polyp or cyst removed from her uterus. Perhaps she got hepatitis from contamination during surgery.

A couple of months after her surgery, Lillian seemed to be healing slowly because she felt tired and sore. It is common that people do not seek medical help when they feel sick. They don’t have the money to pay for medicines, and often the public hospital resources are so meager that they provide little help.

On Friday, March 1, Lillian was well enough to enjoy her birthday party, but on Sunday Lillian ran a high fever and started vomiting. On Monday, she went to the hospital for tests. They sent her home the same day, and no one knows the results.

By Wednesday night, Lillian was jaundiced, not responsive, and her legs kept twitching. These symptoms could indicate liver failure, which could result from hepatitis.

Moreno called Noel Iraheta, director of IP Centro Cassie, who drove to Palo Grande and brought Lillian to the hospital in Suchitoto. The hospital said they were full and could not take another patient. They returned to Palo Grande at 1 am.

Thursday morning, they went to the clinic in San Martin. After reviewing results from blood tests, the doctor said she needed to be hospitalized immediately. However, Moreno says that they had to return to the hospital in Suchitoto to get authorization to be admitted to the central hospital in the city.

Friday, the Suchitoto hospital told them that they did not have medicine to treat her. She needed to go to Rosales, the national public hospital in San Salvador, 90 minutes away.

Unfortunately Lillian arrived too late. On Saturday, Lillian died, six days after severe symptoms had started.

Without Lillian’s income, Brian and Vanessa will not have the monthly $70 each that they need to go to school. That is how the tragedy of poverty continues generation after generation.


This blog was prepared by IP Director, Don Montangna and was posted by former Palo Grande delegation leader, Gabriela Acosta who is currently working as community manager for USC Masters in Social Work.

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3 Responses to How Poverty Kills: En Memoria De Lilian Arevalo Galdamez

  1. Mairin Srygley says:

    One of the most upsetting things here is the lack of information and lack of communication. Why couldn’t they have just told her to go straight to Rosales? Because Suchitoto and San Martin want to profit off of her wasted time? It’s almost too upsetting to believe, but perhaps the title should be “How Capitalism Kills.”

  2. Emily Dillon says:

    Don- is there any way that I can help pay for Bryan and vannessa’a school? I’m not sure i could pay $140 a month but I might be able to do some of that, maybe $70?

  3. paulab says:

    Emily… lets talk!

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