Nicaraguan artist's son gets life-saving surgery thanks to Cincinnati connection

Nicaraguan artist's son gets life-saving surgery thanks to Cincinnati connection (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A little Nicaraguan boy who was using charcoal to draw was given paints by a missionary from Cincinnati.

That was years ago, now that boy is an art teacher, but it was that childhood connection that created a “Cincinnati family”.

That family helped his son come to Cincinnati for surgery that he could not get at home.

The mural in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Welcome Center on Beechmont Avenue is about a world without differences in race and cultures. Depicted on that mural is a little boy with no shoes and no paint on his palette.

That boy is Gerardo Arias who is now a muralist in Nicaragua. Local 12’s Deb Dixon spoke to him through an interpreter.

In the center of the mural is Sister Margarita, a former principal at IHM and co-founder of the Cultural Arts

Center in Nicaragua where Gerardo discovered his talent.

Geraldo turned to his Cincinnati family for help recently when a tumor was found near his 23-year-old son's hip.

Nicaraguan doctors had no answers for the young father of a 10-month-old daughter.

Doctors in the IHM parish looked at his x-ray and sent it to Dr. Mark Snyder at Good Samaritan Hospital, who offered to donate the surgery.

But that still meant that both father and son had to get to Cincinnati.

Sue Keefe with IHM's Social Action Commission got help from some powerful people. Senators Rob Portman, Sherrod Brown and Representative Brad Wenstrup all wrote letters in support of the medical visa.

Gerardo Antonio had a benign tumor removed and his hip replaced on Monday.

Gerardo Arias’ murals are also at McNicholas High School. Again, the messages are about faith, love, and tolerance.

Love that started with a barefoot boy from Nicaragua and Sister Margurita from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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