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BURBANK : Woman Helps Raise $6,000 for Injured Boy

September 11, 1993|ED BOND

A car accident that put a 3 1/2-year-old boy in a coma for a week made a Burbank computer operator a "sister" to the Burbank mother she helped.

"She finally found out what love is about," said Blanca Granados, a Burbank city employee who was nearby when the toddler, Gilberto Luevanos, was struck by a car and thrown 25 feet May 9.

Granados helped start a fund-raising campaign to pay the boy's medical bills, and, according to the boy's mother, Delia Luevanos, became a "sister in Christ" to her. The family has no medical insurance. Delia Luevanos works for a convalescent hospital. Her husband, Filimon, works for a bakery in Northridge.

Granados' efforts raised $6,000 for Gilberto's medical expenses from 80 contributors, enough to make a significant dent in the $1,600 per month the family must pay to Children's Hospital in Glendale for the next six months. The boy's total bill was $150,000, but the family members--who are uninsured--qualified for financial assistance, and that brought down the amount that they must pay.

"I do believe God sent her to help us," Delia Luevanos said of Granados.

Gilberto had suffered serious head injuries in the accident, but no brain damage, according to his family. He had trouble speaking when he first came out of the coma because of the tubes put down his throat to help him breathe.

Delia Luevanos said she knew Gilberto had turned the corner and would be all right in June when he could finally call her "Momma."

"She had felt like she was in a nightmare because she thought her baby was gone," Granados said, translating Delia Luevanos' words from Spanish. "Right now she is very happy because she has her little baby and so many friends, and she knows there is love."

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