donate icon DONATE

Making a Difference Runs in Juan Uriel's Family

Meet Juan Uriel

For Juan Uriel and his family, generosity has always been a big part of the family's culture.

So, when the Christmas holiday came around, helping decorate at a local church in Mexico was an easy commitment. However, no one knew it would be a life-changing evening for everyone.

Juan Uriel is still unsure of how his accident happened. Then 17 years old, he only remembers picking up decorations and suddenly being electrocuted. The shock went through his right hand, up his arm, and out of his right ankle, leaving him with second- and third-degree burns across 40% of his body.

He was taken to multiple hospitals in Mexico, but doctors there did not know how to care for the teenager’s injuries and feared he could die. Juan Uriel recalls that many of the doctors wanted to amputate his arm. Soon after, the family connected with Fundación Michou Y Mau I.A.P, a foundation dedicated to preventing and treating pediatric burns in Mexico. With their help, Juan Uriel and his family were taken to Shriners Children’s Texas.

While a patient, Juan Uriel received reconstructive surgery on his arm and orthopedic care for his leg. As a teenager entering adulthood, his first concern was being able to work and provide for his family. “They wanted to do cosmetic stuff,” Juan Uriel said.

I wanted things to be more functional and to recover the arm.
Juan Uriel

Now, Juan Uriel says he has 70% use of his right arm, only noting minor issues with his wrist.

After seeing the need for pediatric burn care and education in Mexico, Juan Uriel and his mom, Patricia, were inspired to start Fundación Uriel IAP, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting children with burns who need medical dressings, medications and pressure clothing.

As Fundación Uriel IAP provided care to children in rural communities, they noticed that many people did not know what to do when they came across live electrical wires, or understood how to properly handle everyday objects that can cause burn injuries. So, they decided to make a difference.

“It started small, one person and school at a time,” Patricia said. “I saw that people did not know what to do when a child was burned, and that hospitals were far from where they lived.”

The organization now offers training and prevention workshops, conferences, and medical training to communities across Mexico, with the specific goal of reducing childhood deaths due to burns in children younger than 5.

As of 2024, Fundación Uriel IAP has helped with the medical care of nearly 140 children in Mexico who suffered from severe burns, sending four of them to Shriners Children’s Texas. The foundation never charges for any of their services.

Juan Uriel and His Family Make a Difference

Fundación Uriel IAP offers training and prevention workshops, conferences, and medical training to communities across Mexico.

two providers with burn patient Juan Uriel in hospital

Juan Uriel and his family at Shriners Children's Texas

Juan Uriel and provider wearing mardi gras costumes

Juan Uriel enjoys Mardi Gras festivities at Shriners Children's Texas.

four foundation members receiving awards

Four members of Fundacion Uriel IAP display awards for their philanthropic work.

Next Steps

Share Your Story

Our patients and families are at the heart of everything we do at Shriners Children's. We invite you to share how the team at Shriners Children's has helped your child.

Give to Shriners Children's

Through the generosity of donors like you, we've helped over one million children lead more fulfilling lives, regardless of their families' ability to pay.

Contact Us

Have a question or request? Need to make an appointment? We're here for you.