Christina Ferris only had one thing in mind when coming to the United States: to better her son’s eyesight.
By Tishara Hicks
(St. Louis, MO.) Webster University freshman Marko Ferris left Peru with his mother in 2014 when she married his stepfather, Robert Ferris. He was going blind in one eye. Christina Ferris said Peru did not have the resources to help her son’s eyesight.
“The doctors said I would have been blind,” Marko Ferris said. “In Peru, they would have only prescribed me pills, and that was it.”
Christina Ferris said she came to America because she wanted a better life for her child. Marko Ferris does not remember the day of his surgery, but knows it impacted his life and eyesight.
After immigrating to the United States, Christina and Robert Ferris had another son, Ian Ferris. Robert Ferris said Ian Ferris would not have been accepted in Peru because he has Down syndrome.
“The people there would have completely closed him off because he doesn’t look like them,” Robert Ferris said. “If you don’t have the same beliefs and values, you’re pictured as an outcast.”
According to Pacific Prime, an international insurance provider, healthcare is free in Peru. The government is supposed to grant all Peruvians health care regardless of the amount of income they receive.
However, the country did not have the resources to provide care for everyone, Christina Ferris said.
“The government is so messed up they choose whether they give you health care or not,” Christina Ferris said. “We didn’t have any in Peru.”
Marko Ferris said he and his brothers have more opportunities in the United States than they would have had if they were still living in Peru. Marko Ferris said he would not be able to go to school or get a part-time job.
Marko Ferris studies biology at Webster and plans on become a doctor and works at The Boardwalk Café.
Though the United States is a better fit for the Ferris family overall, they still miss home.
“Family is something that means a lot to us,” Christina Ferris said. “Not being able to see our family every day has taken a toll [on us].”
Robert Ferris said he knows Christina Ferris is homesick and wants her to feel comfortable in her new home and country. Her English is not that good, so Robert Ferris learned Spanish to better communicate with her.
Robert Ferris said he also tries to cook dishes that remind his wife of Peru.
“The spices are much more rich in Peru than here in the States,” said Robert, “We love when we get packages from her mom.”
Marko Ferris now realizes all of the sacrifices his mother has made. He said he knows it was all for his benefit.
“I am very grateful for life I have now, and it is all because of my mom,” Marko Ferris said.