JUST when Quakelyn Lisayen, a 24-year-old kidney patient, was winding up her laboratory tests towards an organ transplant, doctors at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City found she had been hit by a double whammy.
It was the last test, after a series of procedures to determine her medical capability to receive a kidney from her younger brother, 20-year old Jason. Probability for a transplant loomed large after the siblings passed the tissue matching with flying colors.
Hopes for medical deliverance, however, dimmed when doctors focused on her heart and found an artery had been clogged. They advised angioplasty, an expensive surgical procedure involving the insertion of a small wire mesh to prop the artery open to allow regular blood flow, similar to water re-piping.
"The medics told me I have to undergo angioplasty first before I can even think of receiving a new kidney," Quakelyn texted after the medical finding. "I cried a river when I learned, as many people had already sacrificed to raise the amount for my kidney transplant."
She had gone that far in her fight for a new lease on life, thanks to support from Baguio Representative Nick Aliping Jr. folksingers and ordinary folks who pooled P278,000 and $1,400 for the surgery.
The girl, however, had to use the P200,000 allotted from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Aliping for the battery of laboratory tests and procedures and P30,000 from the fund for her travel to and from the NKTI while she is undergoing twice-a-week hemodialysis treatment.
The $1,300 came from Aliping’s brother Bob who raised the sum by going around San Diego delivering copies of "Boba Songs", a CD compilation of his original folk and country compositions, to fellow expatriates from the Cordillera.
Through former assistant city prosecutor Evelyn Tagudar, Marivic Naicy of Texas added $100. Local folk musicians led by lawyer Jose "Bubut" Olarte raised P80,000 during a concert in tandem with barangay chairman Thomas Dumalti of Irisan here, half of which went to four other dialysis patients.
Earlier, a man who declined to be identified contributed P15,000.
Pradeep Lalwani coursed P11,000 through retired city prosecutor Gloria Agunos and the Quijencio family added P1,000.
People who can help Quakelyn hurdle the two surgeries may coursed their support through Bank of the Philippine Islands-Harrison (Baguio Branch) account number 0563845279.
The account was opened jointly last January by Agunos, Dumalti, regional director Helen Reyes-Tibaldo of the Philippine Information Agency and city social welfare and development officer Betty Fangasan.
The eldest of three siblings whose father died of kidney ailment, Quakelyn was so named for the fact that she was born shortly after the July 16, 1990 earthquake that hit Baguio and Northern Luzon.
The girl served for three years as volunteer rescuer under the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and then as job-order worker for two years until her ailment was diagnosed.