New dialysis patient asks for assistance-A A +A
Monday, August 6, 2012
AS ONE of the latest additions to the growing number of patients with total kidney failure, 57-year-old Milgaros Tait of Scout Barrio confessed last Friday that she didn’t know who or where to turn to for her next hemodialysis session set later in the afternoon.
“Five hundred lang pera ko; ‘yan lang nautang ko (I have only P500; that’s what I was able to borrow),” she texted.
She had, and will have enough reason to be panicky, given the diagnosis last February: chronic kidney disease stage V secondary to diabetic nephropathy, anemia, and hypertension.
To survive, she has to undergo twice-a-week hemodialysis treatment for life. It’s four hours at a time, in her case the last of three shifts, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., to cleanse the blood of waste through filtering by the dialysis machine.
She needs P2,200 per session, scheduled every Tuesday and Friday at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center. Add to that the cost of maintenance medications to control diabetes, hypertension, anemia and other complications, aside from the occasional blood transfusions.
The social case study on her situation prepared by social welfare officer Janine Dalos reflects how expensive it is to be poor.
“(Milagros) is totally dependent (on) her son Christopher George (an electric sub-station tender). His income could have been enough for the needs of the family but the expensive medical treatment of the client exhausted their financial resources.”
Mila and her husband, George, a native of Mt. Province, are both unemployed. Their son Christopher and daughter Melani are both married.
She made it to the dialysis room last Friday afternoon, thanks to emergency support from Shoshin, a small foundation that Julian Chees, a Baguio boy and former world shotokan karate champion, established with his martial arts students in southern Germany.
She was told to return the P500 she borrowed which the lender advised would be payable on the 15th of this month.
But the medical treadmill she’s tied to keeps on rolling, in danger of spinning out of control once she misses a dialysis session or two. As many others in her predicament – financially and medically, now and then try to do - sometimes with dire consequences.
With the ballooning number of kidney patients, it’s a grim competition, this continuous search for the next Samaritan to shoulder the cost of the next dialysis session. Figure out the stress in relation to the fact that as of last week, the renal patient count at the BGHMC alone rose to 147, according to one of them.
Shoshin itself can only do so much, spreading its meager resources, pooled by martial arts students, to patients of all afflictions since Julian founded it in 2004.
“What we raise, originally intended for sick children, is never enough, and there will always be a patient in need,” Julian said. “We help within our givens.”
Other Samaritans out there may ring up Milagros’ cellphone number (09085335999) before her next dialysis session on Tuesday afternoon. (Ramon Dacawi)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 07, 2012.