Grace received by Valentino Nicolás Sánchez Barrio

Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, 16 January 2021.

Valentino was born on 30 August 2020.

After a problem-free and full-term pregnancy, on Sunday 30 August, I received the news that my daughter, Roxana, had been admitted to hospital at 13.30 that day, and that she would go into labour. We knew everything was going well. They induced labour as she had no contractions. They tried for eight hours without success. This situation led to an emergency caesarean section. Valentino was born at 21:31 that day.

At 23:00, I received a call from his father, Nicolás, who told me almost in tears that the baby was born without oxygen and that he was in critical condition. It only had 6 hours of life. He had been told that if it survived those terrible 6 hours, they would give it hypothermia therapy. They would then have to wait 72 hours to assess whether the baby would have been able to tolerate it.

At that very moment, the prayer chains began for Valentino and also for his parents who, in the middle of the pandemic, were all alone in the clinic, unable to receive anyone’s embrace.

I am fortunate to have my cousins Leon, who were praying for Valentino’s life at “midnight”. Ricardo, Alejandro, Juan Carlos and Fernando always told me not to stop praying Brother Gabriel Taborin. Gabriel Taborin. Praying the Novena for his intercession, every month, united everyone: family, friends, friends of friends, neighbours, in the same intention: Valentino’s life and health. We all gathered in love at 22:00, strengthening the power of prayer – which we never stopped – not only to pray for his health, but also to give thanks for his achievements.

Valentino successfully went through the first 6 hours mentioned above. Then, it was able to get through those other terrible 72 hours, during which his body temperature was slowly restored so as not to damage his little heart.

Completely entangled in threads, with a lot of devices around it and stuffed with a lot of drugs, every day was a small step forward. But on one of those days, my daughter started to have no smell and no taste: she was tested positive for covid-19. This meant that for 14 days, the parents could not be with Valentino, due to the preventive isolation. It was not easy for them not to be with their baby, nor was it easy for the rest of the family not to be able to accompany them over there.

Valentino had major problems with sucking. Everything suggested that it would have to be fitted with a gastric button for life. Days went by, and its parents were able to meet Valentino again. Its mother did not give up, and continued to hope that her little boy would one day be able to start sucking and swallowing. And, after several days, it did!

After 40 days of hospitalisation, it was discharged and today it is at home with its parents and its little brother. It wasn’t easy and it won’t be easy. There is still a long way to go. The lack of oxygen at birth meant that its nervous system was severely affected in its motor functions. We still don’t know if it will be able to talk or walk.

That is why, we entrust ourselves to God, to the intercession of Virgin Mary and to that of all the Saints and, in a special way, to the intercession of the Venerable Bro. Gabriel Taborin, so that he may continue to help and maintain the strength of this little one, our great fighter.

This is a brief history of Valentino. Its story is practically the story of its health difficulties. It has been written by one of the beings who love him most on this earth: Its “Abu” (grandmother),

Silvia Monica D’Alto