Raising a baby with microcephaly
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When it comes to raising a child disabled by Zika, Brazilian women often do it alone

Raising a baby with microcephaly
Josemary Gomes cradles her 4-month-old son, Gilberto, in March. “I am Gilberto’s father now,” she says. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Raising a baby with microcephaly

Cradling Gilberto, Josemary Gomes watches her sons Jorge and Marcos from the doorway of their home in Algodao de Jandaira, Brazil.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Gilberto is easily agitated and cries incessantly. A bath is often the only way to soothe him.
Gilberto is easily agitated and cries incessantly. A bath is often the only way to soothe him.  (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times )
Raising a baby with microcephaly

Josemary Gomes, right, was already raising four boys on her own when she met the man who would father Gilberto.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Raising a baby with microcephaly

The kitchen floor is littered with plastic toys when Josemary Gomes returns home from a full day at the hospital with her youngest son, Gilberto.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Raising a baby with microcephaly

Josemary Gomes tries to distract Gilberto as they wait for physiotherapy at the Pedro I Municipal Hospital in Campina Grande, Brazil.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Raising a baby with microcephaly

Josemary Gomes dresses Gilberto as her friend, Maria de Jesus, watches with with her baby, Davi William.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Raising a baby with microcephaly

Gilberto has to be held or he will start crying again.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Raising a baby with microcephaly

Gilberto yawns as his mother, Josemary Gomes, works at the kitchen sink. There is no running water at their home.

 (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Marcos, 9, kisses his half-brother, Gilberto, while 4-year-old Jorge entertains the baby of a family friend.
Marcos, 9, kisses his half-brother, Gilberto, while 4-year-old Jorge entertains the baby of a family friend.  (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times )
Gilberto has his diaper changed while Jorge takes a nap. The house is so small the boys share a bed with their mother.
Gilberto has his diaper changed while Jorge takes a nap. The house is so small the boys share a bed with their mother.  (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times )
The day Josemary Gomes brought Gilberto home from hospital, she laid him on her bed and wept. When there were no tears left, she said, “I raised my head and carried on alone.”
The day Josemary Gomes brought Gilberto home from hospital, she laid him on her bed and wept. When there were no tears left, she said, “I raised my head and carried on alone.”  (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times )
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