Story behind the Documentary Film

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Many of you know that my son took his life two years ago, but not everybody knows he had schizophrenia, and that is why he took his life.

Early in my son’s illness, his father and I found out about a treatment in Ecuador called BEAM that was successfully treating people with schizophrenia and eliminating the symptoms of the disease. BEAM or bilateral electrocoagulation of the adrenal medulla is a surgery on the adrenal medulla glands above the kidneys that eradicates the production of adrenaline 100% and nor-adrenaline by 20%. It is a radical treatment and was only done on 56 patients at that time. My son’s stepmother had simply entered “Cure for schizophrenia” in Spanish and the BEAM website came up.

We started consulting with Dr. Mackliff, an Ecuadorian psychiatrist and scientist who developed the treatment after 30 years of investigative study, and after examining Marco’s medical records, he recommended that Marco postpone his entry into UCLA by one year and come to Ecuador immediately to have the surgery.

My son, whose dream was to attend college at UCLA and who had a full year’s scholarship to attend that year, refused to give up his dream and we agreed to support him to try.

During that year, we continued to investigate the treatment and Jose, Marco’s father, traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador to meet Dr. Mackliff, some of his patients who had had the treatment, and to see the clinic where the surgeries were done. When Jose returned in May of 2014, we strongly encouraged Marco to have the treatment. He had already left UCLA after successfully completing one quarter and had been hospitalized.

At this time, my son had already begun planning his suicide and considered it his best option. After Marco’s death and continuing until now, I have sought out a cause for Marco taking his life, and dedicated myself to researching schizophrenia and the possible cure in Ecuador.

All of this led to my writing a book titled, “The Tip of the Iceberg – a Toolkit for those with Schizophrenia”, developing a blog called “onlythedifficult.org”, and going to Guayaquil, Ecuador with a Mexican camera woman in May of 2016 to film a documentary film consisting of interviews with patients who have been cured from schizophrenia and live normal lives, the doctors who diagnose the illness and do the BEAM surgery, an interview with a prominent psychiatrist in Guayaquil who treats many patients with schizophrenia, and scenes showing the human side of Mackliff’s life and research. I plan to present the film to PBS, Discovery Channel and independent film companies after its completion, with the help of Alain Cabrara, filmmaker and developer in Miami.

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