I left wondering how those who remained would even make it to the next town, much less another 2,200 miles to Tijuana and the US. And yet weeks later, I would reunite with two of those families in a quiet suburb of San Diego, and regard it as a miracle.

Both families have children with special needs that require serious medical attention: Maria Caceres’s son Javier, who is 15, has Down’s syndrome, epilepsy and a heart condition. He suffered seizures twice while I followed them and routinely vomited and passed out on the highway.

Juan Antonio’s six-year-old daughter Lesly has cerebral palsy. She cannot walk or speak and was confined to a rickety stroller. Loud noises and rumbling trucks caused her anxiety and sent her into convulsions; the girl hardly slept and was miserable.


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