Dedicated to Prevailing: Ayssa Mercado receives commemorative day



Ayssa Abygail Mercado and her parents stand with city commissioners, who awarded Ayssa her own day to commemorate her courage in the face of an extremely rare illness. (Courtesy photo by Martha McClain)


During Tuesday’s Regular City Commission meeting, Mayor Ben Gomez announced a proclamation declaring April 16 as Ayssa Abygail Mercado day.

“Now therefore, I, Mayor Benjamin Gomez, on behalf of the entire City Commission, declare today, April 16, 2019, Ayssa Abygail Mercado Day in the City of San Benito, and encourage the Community to continue praying for and supporting her in her courageous fight for health.”

Ayssa Mercado, soon to turn eight-years old on April 20, was diagnosed with MECP2 duplication syndrome, an extremely rare disease, nearly a year following her birth. Her parents, Albert Mercado, owner of MVP Body & Paint LLC., and Erica Mercado, an SBCISD elementary school teacher, were unaware of her condition until Ayssa’s continuous issues led her to three surgeries performed concurrently. Highly concerned, the Mercado’s took Ayssa to a genetics specialist in Corpus Christi, who informed them that Ayssa had MECP2 duplication syndrome.

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, MECP2 can cause respiratory issues, seizures, low muscle tone, and intellectual disability, among others. Ayssa currently takes eight different medications, twice daily to stabilize her and prevent her from having seizures. She currently sees four specialists in Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, which her parents drive her to every six months, on average.

“She’s growing, so the communication is getting better. Even though she didn’t learn to talk, we can read her needs better through her gestures,” said Ayssa’s father Albert Mercado.

Despite the evident difficulties, the Mercado family has found support from inside and outside the San Benito community.


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