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  • Writer's pictureLeonora Lo-oy

Mom asks help for 13-year-old son suffering from rheumatic heart disease

John Berchman Lardizabal Fernandez from Casigayan, Tabuk City has been a consistent honor student, but currently, he is facing difficulty in accomplishing his class modules due to rheumatic heart disease.

John, a 13-year-old grade 8 student at the Tabuk City National High School, was recently diagnosed and that he needs immediate operation at the Heart Center in Manila, but his parents could hardly afford the procedure.

In an interview with John’s mother, Cristal May Fernandez, she relates that her son was first rushed to the hospital in September 2020 when he experienced pain in his gallbladder.

He was confined for a month and two days. After getting discharged, John had to be rushed back to the hospital due to difficulty in breathing. Cristal recalled that John went for a short walk, but when he returned home, he was pale and unable to breathe.

At the hospital, John was recommended for a 2D echo at the St. Paul Hospital where it was discovered that he has rheumatic heart disease. By that time, they were told that John’s condition can still be managed through medications.

However, after a year, John was subjected to a repeat 2D echo this November 24, 2021. But unlike before, they were told his condition could no longer be managed by medicine and that he needs surgery as soon as possible.

“Kuna diay cardio, makitak dayta ubing ket mayat pay lang kunana ngem habang napigsa pay lang isuna, haan yun urayen a kumapsuten sayu ipan ipa-opera tapnu kaya na diay operation,” Cristal said.

Effect of the disease on John

Cristal shared that her son is a consistent honor student when he was in elementary but when he reached 7th grade, just like other students, it was challenging for him to cope with the blended learning.

Studying was even more difficult for the 13-year-old when he learned about his condition, Cristal added.

“Makitak ma’am ah. Wen, [apektado] ta siguro diay kapapanunut na idiay sakit na, haan na mai-concentrate iti ag-module. Siyak met nga ina, makita met diay anak ko nu anya iti problema na, nu naragsak ba isuna,” she narrated.

‘Haan mi kaya diay operasyon na’

To prepare for the operation, Cristal asked the doctor about the cost of the procedure, and she was informed it could cost them P500,000 to P700,000.

Cristal admitted they could not afford the amount because they are dependent on her husband’s income from working abroad. She is a housewife while her husband is an electrician overseas.

She said that they could not provide even one-fourth of the amount.

“As a mother, ket nasakit a kasta nga adda iti sakit na ket nag-ubingan pay lang isuna. Nu apay a naad-daan ti kasta a sakit ket manipud met idi awan inbagbaga na a marikna na. Nakigtut kami, madanagan, ken agsangit binigat ma’am kapapanunut dayta mausar ken nu kaya na dayta operasyon na,” Cristal expressed.

For those who would like to help John and his parents, you can send any amount to Cristal’s GCash: 09618378149 or you can contact her through 09774491763.


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