THE constant pressure – emotional and financial – on end-stage kidney ailment patients and their families is as debilitating and draining as the illness itself that today afflicts thousands of Filipinos.
The analogy here is that of being chained to a treadmill that keeps on gaining velocity until one can no longer stay in-step, inevitably spinning out of control and hurtling into oblivion.
Locally, individual cases are being featured in this space almost weekly, as the number of cases just keeps on rising, as does the number of families also seeking space for them to thank Samaritans, many of whom they’ll never know or meet, but still reached out to them.
The pressure on Nora Mangusan (nee Bolong), a social worker at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, must be most trying than most who have to deal with kidney ailment. As such, she has her hands full counseling patients and their families, recommending them eligible as charity cases, to ease their load of mounting medical and hospital bills.
She knows too well, however, that the cost of hemodialysis treatment cannot be waived for any of the patients who, as of the last count by the newly formed BGHMC Dialysis Patients and Supporters Association, numbered 192.
For her, the shoe is on the other foot. Her 57-year-old husband, Delfin, is one of them. Since February last year, he has been on thrice-a-week hemodialysis treatment at the BGHMC. At P2,200 per session, he needs P6,600 a week or P26,400 a month, excluding medications, occasional blood transfusions and other costs of maintaining his illness induced by diabetes.
Born and raised at Balsigan, Baguio, Delfin traces his roots to Tetep-an, Sagada, Mt. Province. In April 1996, he was diagnosed for diabetes, a metabolic disease marked by high blood sugar levels that, over a long period, leads to leads to complications such as heart and kidney diseases and blindness.
The fourth in a brood of five, Delfin lost his mother to complications of diabetes in 1993 and his father in 2012. He studied at the Baguio City National High School and dropped out of Criminology in his third year at the University of Baguio when he went on training to become a police officer.
His medical problems began in 1996 when he was diagnosed for diabetes, which, for years now, he tried to control with regular insulin injection. In August, 2008, he suffered a mild stroke and was hospitalized for three weeks. Later, he underwent two eye operations to clear his vision of cataract. Early last year, he began hemodialysis treatment.
His wife, Nora, a native of Natubleng, Buguias, Benguet is now the sole breadwinner. As social worker, she grosses over P25,718 s month but gets a take-home net of P5,000 due to loans from the Government Service Insurance System, the hospital cooperative and other sources to be able to cope with her husband’s medical needs.
The couple has three sons and a daughter. Joseph, 17, is in second year college. Jan Rondel, 15, just finished high school while Jason, 12, is in high school. Daughter Jessica, 11, is in the sixth grade.
Samaritans out there can visit Delfin during his four-hour dialysis treatment scheduled at 4 p.m. on Monday, 11 a.m. on Thursday and 4 p.m. on Saturday at the BGHMC.
Delfin can be reached through cellphone number 09274988848, while Nora can be contacted through cellphone number 09984651939.