A big difference for a little girl

May 15, 2015

GINA-ESPARZA-001-WEB

Three months is a long wait for a skin doctor if you’re a preschooler with bleeding eczema, asthma, acid reflux and 33 allergies.

And out-of-pocket is a lot to pay if you’re the single mother who discovers your insurance is no longer accepted.

These were a few of the challenges facing Gina Esparza and her daughter, Anaya.

But physicians and staff at UNT Health Science Center solved some of their toughest problems.

“Accessibility and effective treatments make all the difference,” Gina said, while watching Anaya romp in her dance costume. Now 5, she’ll soon add hip-hop to her repertory of ballet, tap and jazz.

Before treatment at UNTHSC, Anaya’s rashes were so itchy she scratched in her sleep, drawing blood. Warts appeared on her legs and spread to her hands and arms when she scratched.

Gina frantically sought a dermatologist while trying to stay ahead of her daughter’s other health problems.

GINA-ESPARZA-002-WEB“When she goes anywhere, she can only eat what I bring,” said Esparza, who prepares expensive allergen-free foods. All the while, she does her best to keep the outgoing, adventurous Anaya from touching anything that triggers her allergic reactions. It’s a long list including everyday stuff like melons and tree bark. Esparza keeps an EpiPen handy.

When she contacted UNTHSC, Esparza was directed to Christa Tomc, DO, who led a care team that taught Anaya to alert her mom when a pinhead-size bump appears, so Esparza can apply a special prescription cream.

Her eczema has improved so much that the only signs of her past suffering are a few pale spots where the cream has temporarily lightened her skin.

Working full-time while solo-parenting a young child with complex medical conditions is a major challenge. But with UNTHSC’s extraordinary care, the horizon is brighter. Esparza says Anaya looks forward to her appointments. “She loves Dr. Tomc!”

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