Second Chance At Life Brings Power To The Floor

BY: FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ

Joshua DeLeon Solis, was born on July 2, 2008, and raised in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. When Joshua was six months away from celebrating his second birthday, his parents discovered him at 9:45 a.m., sick and vomiting on the kitchen floor. The little dark-skinned boy, barely a year and a half into his young life, drank from a bottle of strong, industrial, biodegradable soap and was near death.

Frantically, his mother and father immediately began flushing his mouth out with water, in attempts to rid his frail little body of the toxic poison he had consumed. At the time of this accident, his parents were running a water purification business from their home. The soap was used to wash the 5-gallon water containers known in Mexico as a "Garrafon."

The soap contained hydrochloric acid, muriatic acid, marine acid, salt acid and still occasionally called hydrochloric acid. An aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride gas (HCl) which is very corrosive and a deadly "keep away from the reach of children" liquid.  

The very corrosive soap damaged the youngster's throat and injured his stomach and intestines. Taking him in her arms that dreadful day, Joshua's mom rushed her baby boy to the IMSS Los Cabos General Hospital, located across the street from the Chedraui shopping center, where his parents were told there was little they could do for him and that the toxic soap accident could turn out to be fatal. Joshua was then transferred at his father's request to the IMSS General Hospital in La Paz. It was at the state's capital, where doctors informed the family that Joshua would live, and was hospitalized in critical care for 17 days and nights.

For two weeks, the little boy could not eat and remained in critical condition, without much improvement. Overly concerned that the hospital staff and doctors in La Paz were not doing enough for their ill son, Joshua’s' father made the decision to fly him to Mexico City. where doctors were more optimistic about his condition and potential for a healthy recovery.

Their tests and X-Rays revealed Joshua had burned the inside of his stomach, and they immediately put Joshua on the operating table, whereupon they inserted an exploratory catheter, which established and diagnosed that he had burned his esophagus and stomach. The burns and damage to his esophagus were repaired as best and medically possible, and doctors expressed their optimism to the family that he would return to a healthier condition and would continue living a normal life. One that would include a daily regiment of a strict nutritional diet.

After two years of rehabilitation, the family felt it had been a miracle that he survived, had cheated death, and was still alive. Once he was home, Joshua's parents abandoned their water purification business from home and went to work in order to pay their son's medical costs that were not covered by the country's Seguro Popular medicare health insurance.

Since both of Joshua's parents had to work, the task and responsibility of taking care of him fell to his much older brother, Gilberto De Leon Solis, who was 12 years old at the time. Gil, as he is known to everyone, was forced to take his little tag-along baby brother everywhere he went, and that included basketball practice. A sport that young Joshua took a keen interest in, falling madly in love with the game almost immediately.

When Joshua reached 5 years of age, his passion for the game increased to a level that the family fostered his excitement and paid for Josh's participation in the PUMAS Basketball Academy led by the local legendary coach, Aldo Winkler, whose older brother earned a basketball scholarship to attend and play for the University of Leon, in the state of Guanajuato.

As Joshua's health and basketball skills improved, he continued to develop his skills very quickly, so that as he grew in age and stature, he became an elite All-Star caliber player. This past winter Joshua DeLeon Solis led the Cabo San Lucas team of 8-10-year-olds to the championship game of the Mexico National Youth Basketball Championships. A tournament they refer to as the Mini-world championships, which was held in Hermosillo, Sonora. 

In the 2019 championship title game of the tournament against Aguas Calientes in their age group, Joshua scored 20 points of the Baja Calfornia Sur team's 28-32 loss. De Leon Solis was selected to the 5-player, First Team All-Star award.

"He was unfazed by the enormity of the tournament, and played like he always has ... with supreme confidence in his game and a fierce determination and strong desire to win," said his older brother, Gil De Leon Solis, upon their return from Sonora.

Joshua averaged double figures in scoring and was a stand out at the tournament, winning praise from opposing coaches and players.

"He continues going with me at Arenal when I have to referee games, and is constantly shooting around, having fun," added Gil.

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"That little kid is very charismatic, easy going and so full of happiness and life. It's hard not to like him, and cheer him on and help him improve his game," said Raul Estavillo, a local Adult League basketball star, who has helped guide the young Joshua towards the excitement he gets from playing basketball.

"Joshua lives and breathes basketball. Everyone that knows him or meets him, likes him right away. He has this happy, funny way about him, that you can't help but love the little vato," added Leo Poblete, another basketball junkie who is a dominant player at the Division II level of the Los Arcos basketball league.

And Joshua De Leon Solis does indeed have a future of unlimited potential after nearly losing his life as a little young boy.