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The Lion Pim

More information about mitochondrial diseases

© Original idea and text: Merche Serrano (HSJD), MªAntònia Vilaseca (HSJD) and Paz Briones (HCB). © Ilustrations: Cristina Elias. Design and layout: Cristina Elias, Jordi Fàbrega (HSJD) and Albert Pérez (OSSJD). English version: Gilda Beraha, MdM & JC & Solange Layous. Impression: Digital. © Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona


The Lion Pim I am PIM, a lion cub. I am not as strong as the other cubs, and I cannot run as fast as they do, but MOMMY LION loves me a lot and always takes good care of me, preventing me from having any problems with anyone. That’s the reason why she takes me to NOY’s house, because she knows he will be my friend.

I am NOY, the kid of the town. One morning I found PIM asleep in front of my door; he came to live with me and then became my playmate and my best friend.

I am MOMMY LION, and I am very worried for PIM, which is why I go and see the EAGLE. He is very wise and will help me to make up my mind to find out the best solution for my cub.

I am the EAGLE, I fly over the savanna, the woods and the towns and I can see the world from above, which increases my wisdom and my knowledge. I am always willing to help those who ask for advice.


Hi, everybody! I’m going to tell you the story of Pim, the baby lion. This story takes place in the African savanna. Once upon a time, in the middle of the savanna, there was a mother lion that had just had four lion cubs. They were all very cute, and their mum was very proud of them. All the animals came to welcome the little ones. She decided to name them: Pam, Pom, Pim and Pum (funny names for lions!).


All the cubs were growing fast, but differently, because in a litter, there’re always stronger cubs that eat more, leaving the others aside. So, shortly Pam, Pom and Pum gained weight and strength, but Pim being the last to be fed was weak and small, nevertheless really happy receiving his mum´s care.


As the days went by, it was obvious that something wrong was happening to Pim. He didn’t enjoy playing outside with the others cubs; he was always close to his mum avoiding troubles and he seemed very weak. Mum the Lioness started to worry about her son. Pim was very weak and she wondered how he could survive in the extremely dangerous savanna, full of predators?


On the other hand, Pim had a lot of qualities. He was a happy and cheerful cub and everyone loved him. Because he didn’t have much strength, he never argued with anyone and remained away from fights. He politely would ask for help when required and all lions were happy to do him a favor.


Pim loved living in the wilderness. He stared at the multicolored butterflies flying from flower to flower, listened to the beautiful songs of the birds and to the humming of the insects; he watched the silver fishes swimming in the river but when hearing a powerful roar, Pim always ran behind Lioness Mum looking for protection.


Lion Dad started to train the cubs in the art of hunting, but Pim was unable to follow them. First because he got tired very quickly, then because he loved all the little animals in the savanna and he couldn’t bear the idea of killing. Just to think about that, he felt sad and in despair.


- Poor Pim! –The Lioness Mum thought- how will he be able to survive in this world where, if you don’t kill to eat, you are killed by a stronger, starving animal. How can I help him? Should I go and talk with the great Eagle and ask her for a medicine to cure Pim? Everybody knows that Great Eagle is wise and knows many things”.


No sooner said than done; one morning, Lioness Mum grabbed Pim and walked up to the eagle’s nest. While the eagle was flying majestically in the sky, she saw the lioness, and rapidly flew down to greet her good old friend (they knew each other rather well‌ they had shared preys in the past). - Good to see you my friend. What are you doing up there, Lioness Mum, he asked with respect?


- I came to ask you for advice. You fly over the savanna, you see a lot, you have great knowledge, and you might be able to help my son Pim- said the Lioness Mum. - I can see he is little, but what‘s wrong with him? – asked the eagle - Pim lacks strength, he gets tired easily while playing, running or eating. He isn’t as strong and ferocious as his brothers. He doesn’t seem to suffer about it because for the moment I’m here to help, but later on, how will he be able to survive? Please wise eagle, help me understand what´s happening to Pim? Despite all my efforts Pim is still weak. Is there any medicine I can give him? I’ll do whatever you advise me.


The eagle put her glasses on to see better; she was used to seeing the world from the sky, so far!! After having examined Pim, she said: -Mmmmm, we have a great problem, with no easy solution. Pim lacks the energy to be like the others lions. That’s why he can’t practice the most vigorous activities, like running, jumping, hunting, roaring, but that’s also why he is not growing that much and never will be ferocious or strong. The more I think about the problem the harder it is to find a solution. Energy is so important to survive; he will never be able to take care of himself in this environment. You have to take him out of the savanna.


Lioness Mom thanked the wise eagle and left, very worried. She comforted Pim, licked and kissed him and reassured him her love, as she was wondering where to take him to a safer place, out of the savanna. Where could they go?.


And suddenly she thought she could try the human village. She remembered the brave boy called Noy, the one who loved all the animals and took care of them when injured. Maybe the boy could cure Pim, or al least could take care of him and protect him. She felt sad and started missing Pim already, but she knew she had to be brave to help her son. It was the only solution.


So they walked to the village and hid themselves until dark night, avoiding human contact. When everything was quiet, she took Pim who was already asleep and left him in front of the boys’ door, after licking him fondly.


The next morning, when the boy was getting ready to go to school he found Pim, who had just woken up and felt scared. The boy helped Pim inside the house and gave him some milk and some bread, slowly very slowly, the way Pim used to eat. Pim ate it all, but little by little because that was his way. He was so weak and about to cry that Noy decided to adopt him. From now on, they will always be friends and they will hunt, fish, go for wild fruit and play forever together. At last he had a friend to play with! He would take care of him forever!.


Pim grew happily with Noy, who took good care of him. He discovered some “magic berries” that were good for Pim and gave him a few from time to time. Pim didn’t enjoy those magic berries much, because he was a lion and lions like meat but he understood that those berries were helping him grow stronger, and besides he didn’t want to disappoint his friend. He was never as strong as the others. But he became very popular among the animals and the children in the village. Everybody loved him and he lived old, very old, happily and respected by everyone.


This is the end of the tale, I hope you liked it!

The End


The diseases of energetic metabolism are caused by different malfunctions in energy production inside the cells of the organism. All living things need energy to grow, move, think, and any other activity. We also need energy so that the metabolic reactions may enable life to work properly. When there is a malfunction in the energy production, the metabolic reactions that are required do not work effectively, nor do the system of our organism and the organs especially those that require more energy (the brain and the general nervous system, the muscles, the liver, and the kidneys). Those kids who suffer from such diseases may already have been born with difficulties, given that energy is necessary for all

The Eagle is the doctor, and at the sight of PIM’s symptoms, he immediately realizes he suffers a lack of energetic metabolism.


the processes of development during the pregnancy. Nevertheless, the diseases of the energetic metabolism may appear at any given age in any organ and tissue, given that they both require energy. But the predominant symptoms are usually neuromuscular. Most of these diseases lack a curative treatment, and the treatments used are mainly to relieve pain and lower the rate of the progression of the illness.

Lion PIM, the cub, suffers a disease of energetic metabolism that causes him lack of strength (he can’t run, eat, or play as much or as quickly as his brothers), and he has a delayed growth.

Magic berries, they are wild fruit, rich in antioxidants. Because most of the diseases of energetic metabolism have no curative treatment, a diet rich in antitoxins can benefit the children. Some of these antioxidants are helpful to improve energetic metabolism.


The Lion Pim The story of the lion PIM tries to explain how the diseases of energetic metabolism are created. The story uses entertainment and simplicity to describe this, so that the adults involved or not in the subject and the children may understand these metabolic diseases. With the story of the lion PIM, you will learn that our body needs energy so that all its components may function properly. You will see what happens when there is a problem, for example, this little cub is unable to create the necessary amount of energy that we need to grow, move, eat, play and run as much as the others who do not suffer from this disease. You will learn the importance in spending time to helping people with these diseases, like PIM. We can help them by becoming interested in their problem, trying to understand it through the reading of a tale that describes it, or doing something that may help knowing about or such illnesses. Although PIM suffers a disease, he is happy with NOY, also playing with the other animals in the jungle. If you enjoyed Pim’s story, you should at the same time keep in mind that you have to be hopeful; and the main quality could be Patience because sometimes solutions are found out, even if the problems are difficult to solve.

With the collaboration of:

The lion PIM  
The lion PIM  

The story of the lion PIM tries to explain how the diseases of energetic metabolism are created. The story uses entertainment and simplicity...