4 out of 4 stars
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The magical life of Mauricio Saravia by Maria Eloisa Damele is a nonfiction book in which the author narrates the life of her son. Mauricio was born with a life-threatening illness, McCune-Albright syndrome. It is a genetic mutation of the pituitary gland, which distributes calcium in the body and controls all the other glands. The disease caused Mauricio’s bones to overgrow. That threatened his internal organs and left him deformed, with a strange appearance.
What I liked most about the book is that the author narrated how she discovered Mauricio’s illness. As a toddler, Mauricio would constantly hit his head, and his mother registered that as abnormal behavior. Trips to several doctors left her frustrated as they dismissed her claims. The one doctor who believed her and performed an MRI was her saving grace. Luckily, the doctors caught the disease in time, and young Mauricio had to undergo a major surgery soon. That was the beginning of many hospital visits that persisted throughout Mauricio’s life. Through this experience, the author shed light on medical negligence and highlighted the challenges of accessing quality healthcare in developing nations. The author is originally from Uruguay and had to move abroad to get more effective treatments.
Despite the life-threatening illness, Mauricio possessed a high IQ. He was a polite child who was in tune with nature. The author narrated many instances in which Mauricio acted unusually for his age. I relished these moments since they provided an insight into Mauricio’s magical mind. He had a natural talent for art and his mother encouraged him to excel. He also learned graphic design and used those skills to earn a living. I was impressed that Mauricio worked hard to provide for himself and didn’t let his condition hinder him. It was heartwarming to watch him interact with people from different walks of life to boost his prospects as an artist. The bravery was more evident when Mauricio moved to the US by himself at the age of 30.
It was heartbreaking to see the challenges that Mauricio faced, including chronic pain, bullying, discrimination, and near homelessness. I admired his mother’s dedication since she took care of him during his worst moments. The author also sheds light on the plight of illegal aliens in the US. That is a pertinent issue; I’m glad she conveyed her and Mauricio’s first-hand experience. I was in a somber mood as I read these parts and was relieved when community members offered to help the duo. I like that the author credits those who helped them and acknowledges the little miracles that occurred when they needed help.
The author writes using simple but straightforward language, which made the book a breeze to read. Overall, the text is well edited, but I spotted a few grammatical errors which aren’t glaring. Since there’s nothing I dislike about the book, I will award it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to anyone looking for an inspirational story or anyone seeking new beginnings. Those who are curious about McCune Albright syndrome will also find relevant information in this book. There are vivid descriptions of the medical procedures that Mauricio underwent, so those who can’t stomach such content should be warned.
The Magical Life of Mauricio Saravia
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