Edinburg childrens’ Christmas wish is for their dad to be healthy again

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Miriam laughs with her son Miguel, 6, while he plays with her phone Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

EDINBURG — Usually, some kids ask Santa Claus for new toys or whatever trending electronic device is out on the market today, but for 25-year-old Miriam Esquivel’s children, they only ask that their dad get back to full health.

Miguel Espinoza, 35, is currently suffering from painful hemorrhoids that have lasted a year now, which has rendered him unable to work and support his family. Miriam is the only person working at a local restaurant as a waitress to make ends meet.

Miguel described himself as a very proactive worker who initially aspired to be a chef, but fell in love with working in the fields picking fruits and vegetables, which he’d eventually learn to use to his benefit.

In late May of last year, a freak storm had ripped the roof off their trailer home as Miriam was showing her youngest son, Abraham, not to be scared of the thunder and lightning while her eldest, Miguel, was fast asleep.

Miriam A. Esquivel Tejeda, 25, outside her home while her children Miguel Espinosa, 6, and Abraham, 5, frolic on the trampoline Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

To this day, the two kids are fearful of the rain and ask their parents whether their roof will stay intact this time. Meanwhile, they’re staying inside a relative’s trailer, which is small even for a family of four.

Little did they know, this would be the beginning of their troubles.

“When the living room ceiling collapsed, it blocked the doors,” Miguel said in Spanish. “I had to push upwards to lift the ceiling in order to open the doors and that’s when it ripped my fingers open.”

Miguel explained that his fingers got caught between the metal sheets of his roof which sliced his middle and ring fingers on his right hand open, exposing bone.

“It didn’t matter, we had to save the kids,” Miguel said.

Miguel Espinosa, 35, reaches for his medication at his home on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in Edinburg. Miguel suffers from stomach issues. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

Within an hour, Miguel began to lose consciousness as he was losing a lot of blood, so they called an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

He was told that they’d have to amputate his ring finger, but once a specialist saw his condition, they managed to save it and stitched him right up.

Miguel was given medication for the pain and was told he’d be unable to bend his injured fingers again, but through perseverance and self-therapy using oranges he’d pick at work, he was able to regain mobility.

However, it was the medication in combination with a poor diet that caused his hemorrhoids, which have drastically affected his ability to work.

The doctors said he’d need about two to three surgeries in order to fix it, but so far, he’s only been able to get one as money is extremely tight right now.

Miriam A. Esquivel talks about her husband and his illness at their home on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

“I always pray with my kids and they were asking God for their dad to get better and that made me feel really emotional because they see how their dad suffers,” Miriam said in tears. “They would say we don’t want anything, we just want you to heal our dad.”

There were nights where he’d be in so much pain, Miguel would be unable to sleep.

Miguel’s circumstances made him realize that he needed to begin eating healthier in order to recover as he’s been suffering for nearly a year now.

He’s even begun to take advantage of his situation by telling his kids that if they didn’t want to end up like him, they would need to eat their vegetables too.

Currently, their home is bare bones. Miguel, who said he wasn’t good at construction, planned to rebuild their home, but his health complications delayed those plans.

Miguel Espinosa, 6, and Abraham, 5, ride a bike outside their home on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

Miguel says she makes enough to be able to buy necessities but not enough to save up for her husband’s surgery.

Although his sons wish to have their old home back, Miguel and Miriam would be grateful to be able to give their kids a gift for Christmas.

To help, call the United Way of South Texas at (956) 686-6331 and inquire about this family and the Spirit of Christmas campaign. The Monitor has partnered with the United Way of South Texas to garner support for Rio Grande Valley families in need of monetary donations, or other items and gifts specified in this story.