Day 2 in Guayaquil
Monday was such a remarkable and satisfying day for our documentary. We had our first patient interview with a 27 year old man named Danny and his mother, Loretta. They both were completely composed for the interview and understood the importance of their story for other young people with schizophrenia and their parents.
Danny had the BEAM surgery four years ago and had suffered from catatonic schizophrenia from the age of 20. He had tactile hallucinations under his skin and acoustic hallucinations. When he heard cars honking, he always thought that they were honking at him. His mother said it was very difficult, being a single mom and needing to work, and she didn’t know what to do.
Danny had seen an article about Dr. Mackliff and his treatment for schizophrenia in his college newspaper where he was studying electrical engineering in his first year. He took it home to show to his mother, and his mother immediately acted on it and contacted Dr. Mackliff. Danny had the surgery shortly after that.
From the first day after surgery, Danny told his mother that the acoustic hallucinations had disappeared for the most part. He stopped believing that the car horns were directed at him. His attention, memory, will power and thought content were normal according to Dr. Mackliff.
A few months after the surgery, Danny told his mother that he felt normal and that the disease didn’t bother him anymore. He wanted to return to the university and he did. He is now in his third year at the university studying Informatics.
Danny has the confidence and composure of someone who knows who he is and knows what he is not. He is a clear example of the maturity of someone who has recovered from a great trauma, schizophrenia. He looked directly at us when speaking, spoke deliberately and intentionally, and was warm and compassionate. It was such a pleasure to know him.
He stated that it took about three years to completely recover from his illness. Danny is now on ¼ of a tablet of antipsychotic medicine a day and has a completely normal life. He lives with his mother and twin brother who has just graduated from the same university in Guayaquil
When asked what his message would be for young people with schizophrenia in the U.S, he said “Have faith, believe in your healing, have the surgery, have hope and never give up. ‘Never Give Up’ was written on a tee shirt a girl was wearing when I was running in the morning along the Merdicon.
His mother’s message to other mothers was that “meeting Dr. Mackliff and knowing the BEAM surgery was a true blessing from God. Her life and her son’s life have been restored and she is so grateful.”
I also felt so grateful to God, meeting Danny and his mother and seeing their lives restored into lives worth living.