San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

One Quintuplet Dies, President Offers Support

Two-week-old Derek Guzmán, one of the quintuplets born in San José March 22, died Monday from a respiratory infection, according to health authorities.

His siblings, Isaac, Raquel, Arianna and Samuel, are in stable condition at the National Children’s Hospital in the capital. Nancy Rodríguez, the mother of the quintuplets, said Derek suffered a sudden complication from an infection that had affected his lungs, and that the other babies must stay in the hospital a few more weeks until their weight reaches the minimum required for their release.

President Oscar Arias, who less than a week earlier had visited the family home to donate ¢1 million (approximately $1,923) of his salary to Rodríguez and the quintuplets’ father, Labor Ministry employee Gerner Guzmán, immediately expressed his condolences.

“We pray for the parents’ strength at this difficult time, and for the speedy recovery of the children,” said a brief statement from Casa Presidencial.

The quintuplets’ birth was the first of its kind at San José’s CalderónGuardiaHospital, according to the daily La Nación.

Private companies have donated baby clothes and other supplies to the family, and Housing Minister Fernando Zumbado announced last week that the government will provide a ¢3.86 million ($7,423) housing bond to help the Guzmán-Rodríguez clan.


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