December 18, 2018
RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 18 — When doctors told her that the six-month-old foetus she was carrying had severe brain damage caused by the Zika virus, Thamires Ferreira da Silva tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of a bus in Rio de Janeiro.
“I just wanted to finish it,” said the 29-year-old Brazilian, crying.
But the bus driver braked in time and more than two years later, she is raising her son Miguel with the help of her husband Wallace, their families and medical specialists.
Miguel was the first child in Brazil to be diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness, which at the time was an unremarked phenomenon but which soon grew to be the focus of a global health alert.
“I feel that we’ve been totally forgotten,” Ferreira da Silva said.
Her son, aged two years and four months, suffers from microcephaly—a condition in which the brain does not develop properly and results in a smaller than normal head.
He also has lissencephaly, where parts of the brain appear smooth, the rare Dandy-Walker syndrome that is characterised by deformation of the part of the brain that controls movement, kidney problems and epilepsy.