Medical appeal, 2-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Result of the series of laboratory tests conducted on 15-year old Agape Atamosa at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) that was started on Sept. 1, had to be sent to the Visayas Community Medical Center (VCMC) since the government hospital's own specialist--a Dr. Legaspi--could not attend to her due to a previous commitment.
But then, the VCMC findings had once more to be sent to the Perpetual Succor hospital for biopsy. It was at the latter hospital that the young girl's Ewings Sarcoma affliction was confirmed. Her attending physician was Dr. Gines Emmanuel de la Flor since Sept. 13, the date she was admitted.
Up to now, while Agape was admitted to the VSMMC, and later, to the Perpetual Succor, laboratory tests were referred to other labs. A number of these tests were also done at the Chong Hua Hospital. A common denominator was somehow established in the Cebu City medical community: that Agape was a victim of a rare disease.
In fact, it is said that her attending physicians from at least two hospitals admitted that in their long experience as medical practitioners in Cebu, this the first time that they attended to a patient with Ewings Sarcoma. And so the travail of Jhun Atamosa and wife Rosabella received somewhat a stamp of confirmation.
I learned that during the first weeks of Agape's illness, her parents took the brunt of her expense, then friends and some civic organizations from Leyte pitched in. Jhun said the expenses may have already totaled almost half a million.
The program, or "protocol" as they call it in the medical world, listed a weekly five-day chemotherapy program that went up to almost one year, an estimate that might save the life of a graduating high school girl whose name, I understand, means God's love or something.
When I asked her father what would happen to her studies, he sort of choked on his words. Then he said that her teachers promised him that if the hospital will release her, and if she could walk, the school might allow her to join the commencement exercises. Of course, it is, to me a rather big if.
The first big if is whether she has the physical capacity to survive the rigors of the disease through the coming months. The second big if is the medical cost.
Their situation is, to me, a classic example of a medical dilemma in our modern life.
Despite the good heart and the goodwill of our contemporary society, there is still that innate personal pride that a person has to grapple with. Indeed, in a circumstance such as what the Atamosas have to face, they may have to subsume social tradition.
Then, a medical appeal becomes a public imperative.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 17, 2012.