Care in Costa Rica

So how was the healthcare in Costa Rica?  Did we feel our daughter received the best care?  Well in short, we actually feel blessed that Lola was diagnosed there.   From the moment I wrote to the pediatrician about our concerns that Lola may indeed have West Syndrome, she was a top priority.  Just as it is in the United States, West Syndrome is considered a very dangerous condition to infants.  I have outlined the timeline of Lola’s diagnosis to show how quickly her team worked to get her taken care of:


The actual date the seizures began is unknown, but we can safely guess it was between April 16 – April 18, 2011.


April 25, 2011   I email Dra. Liana Castro because we suspect that Lola has West Syndrome.  Lola is seen by Dra. Castro at 7:00 pm that night.

April 26, 2011    Lola’s EEG

April 27, 2011   Dra. Castro calls with grave news that Lola’s EEG was abnormal.  We are advised to see a pediatric neurologist immediately.

April 28, 2011   We get an appointment with Dr. David Luna at 11:30 am.  He diagnoses Lola with West Syndrome based on the EEG results as well as the seizures he witnesses firsthand in his office.  He orders an emergency CAT scan.  Within two hours Lola has the CAT scan, the image is given to us and we are back in Dr. Luna’s office.  He enters the waiting room to read the CAT scan and gives us the news that Lola has no lesions, tumors or malformations.  Lola is put on Prelone (a type of steroid) immediately and enters a family only quarantine for one month while on the treatment.

May 16, 2011   The last day of Lola’s seizures.

May 27, 2011   Lola sees Dr. Luna again and he is thrilled to see her improvements.

June 1, 2011   Lola begins physical and occupational therapy.

June 3, 2011   Lola has her second EEG.

June 8, 2011   Lola’s EEG comes back normal.

July 1, 2011   Lola has another follow-up appointment with Dr. Luna.  Lola is diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment.  


Lola at her first appointment with Dr. Luna. She had a very blank look about her and made virtually no eye contact.


Lola’s second appointment with Dr. Luna, The life is beginning to appear in our little girl again.

Lola’s third follow-up appointment with Dr. Luna. The eye contact has improved although she is diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment.

As you can see, we suspected Lola had West Syndrome and within four days she was diagnosed and put on medication.  Dr. Luna is an expert in treating West Syndrome and Moisés (her physical therapist) has been working with children who have neurological disorders for over 30 years.  We are incredibly grateful for their care, expertise and compassion they have shown Lola.

While Costa Rica may be considered “Third World” to many of those who aren’t familiar with it, we were nothing short of impressed with the level of healthcare our daughter received.  Lola lost 40% of her development in the short amount of time she had seizures.  Had the diagnosis and treatment been prolonged, she would be in a much dire state at this time.  With the observant diligence of us as her parents, the quick acting team of doctors she had and with her weekly therapy appointments, Lola is on a path to recovery.  We couldn’t have asked for better care for our daughter and we will forever be grateful we were in Costa Rica when this condition took over our little girl.