A girl being denied of her childhood by kidney ailment managed to mark her 14th birthday last Wedneday, thanks to benefactors led by restaurateur Richard Wong of Luisa’s Café here.
It was the second time that local mediamen, led by Dhobie de Guzman of ABS-CBN, prepared for Mary Joy Ligudon to blow her birthday candle in an annual toast to her courage in being hooked to the dialysis machine for her four-hour blood-cleansing session three times a week.
“Celebrating with her is the least we can do to toast her will to live as normally as any other child despite her ailment,” Wong said
Mary Joy, a native of Aguinaldo, Ifugao, has become a “mascot” of sorts of dialysis patients having their life-time blood-cleansing sessions at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
Fourth of five children of a marginal farmer, was rushed to the BGHMC 2003 for urinary tract infection when she was three.
Her plight got the attention of Gina Epe, a native of Bokod, Benguet, who was visiting a sick relative with her twin daughters, Jordynne and Lordynne.
“My twins overheard the kid’s father telling the nurse he had no cash with which to buy the medicine prescribed for his daughter,” Gina recalled. “My kids asked me for some cash with which they bought the medicines.”
When the kid’s condition improved, her father asked if he could leave her under the care of Gina as they could not cope with the costs of return check-ups.
Gina’s growing attachment to the girl made her agree, and her family took over Mary Joy’s treatment. Regular heck-ups, however, failed to arrest her deteriorating condition. Her kidneys eventually, necessitating hemodialysis for life that began in May, 2016.
Aside from covering the costs of her dialysis and occasional hospitalization, the Epe family is in search of a kidney donor for Mary Joy to enable her to enjoy what remains of her girlhood and eventually live a normal life.
Meanwhile, Amor Orpilla is on he ninth year as a dialysis patient and she’s trying to figure out how she survived this far, with hardly a close relative to help her cope with the costs of being alive.
Now 38 years old, Amor continues to reach out to government support agencies and private benefactors, saying “Whatever the costs, life is still beautiful”.
Her “Social Case Study Report” prepared by the social welfare’s office of La Trinidad, Benguet, says her uncle Robert is her lone family supporter with a monthly P5,000 allowance for her dialysis.
“That’s why I’m asking the help of media, for me to be able to reach out to would-be Samaritans to help me cope with the rising costs of my maintaining to be alive,” she said last week.
On top of her burdens is the unpaid cost of the repair of her fistula, which she had to undergo as an emergency case so she could continue to undergo her dialysis three times a week.
“I’ve used up my Philhealth privileges in paying for the other costs of the operation, thereby leaving me with nothing to charge to my dialysis treatment sessions.
Philhealth-registered kidney patients are entitled to 90 dialysis treatment sessions per year. With six months more before the end of the year, Amor now has to pay for her treatment sessions, having used up her Philhealth session for her hospitalization resulting from the repair of her fistula.
People who can reach out to the patient may ring her cellphone number 09202239912.
By: Ramon Dacawi.