Until this week, a 7-year-old Honduran girl had been living at a makeshift refugee camp in Matamoros, Mexico, with an infected opening in her groin known as a fistula—an aperture through which excrement seeped from her colon to the surface of her skin. She was withdrawn, small for her age, and clinging to her mother, said Greg Shays, a volunteer pediatrician from California who evaluated her in the camp’s mobile medical clinic last week.
Her mother did her best to keep the fistula clean with baby wipes and donated diapers, but the girl’s health continued to deteriorate. In the squalid camp, potable water is in short supply and a handful of porta-potties serves up to 2,000 people. Asylum seekers wash clothes in a river teeming with E.coli.
Shays included his evaluation in a letter that lawyers presented to American border agents to urge them to admit the girl into the United States so she could get care. He worried she could soon become fatally septic. See Atlantic for the rest of the story. . . .