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Leonor López in her Veracruz home, a dilapidated shack. Leonor López in her Veracruz home, a dilapidated shack.

Social media video gets help for 90-year-old grandmother in dire straits

Veracruz woman lived in a shack and cared for ailing 17-year-old great-grandson

After a video was posted to social media about the dire straits of a 90-year-old woman in the city of Veracruz, authorities from the DIF family services agency have promised to find a home for her and Pedro Miguel, the great-grandson she cares for.

Temporarily housed in a shelter for the elderly, until last week Leonor López lived in a shack with tarps for walls and a rusted-out tin roof while caring for the 17-year-old boy who was abandoned by his mother shortly after birth, does not speak and suffers from epileptic seizures. 

Her days were spent collecting aluminum cans and whatever else she could find to sell for food, and digging through garbage at markets in search of something suitable to eat. Each day López, hunched over with age and with Pedro in tow, would set out to scour the streets for sustenance.

To make matters worse, several times thieves robbed her shack of the few possessions she had while she was out foraging for food, a neighbor said.

The shack was furnished with not much more than a bed, which got wet every time it rained. López’s children have died, her grandchildren have abandoned her, and Pedro is basically the only family she has.

López and her great-grandson Pedro.
López and her great-grandson Pedro.

The 2,500-peso (US $116) pension she receives every two months was spent on medications for Pedro and paying off a hospital bill from the last time he got sick.

The video, which was posted by a neighbor, prompted an outpouring of support, municipal authorities said, and the city moved in to help.

Yesterday, DIF representatives met with López and her grandson to assess their health and announced both would get the medications they need. López was sent to a home for the elderly and Pedro was placed in a state-run home where each will remain for the three months it takes to locate suitable housing. Pedro has also been issued his own disability pension.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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