‘We can’t even buy paracetamol…but she will survive’

/ 01:07 AM December 10, 2011

DAVAO CITY—Eleven-year old Jecel Mae Raña should be graduating from elementary next year but this may not happen as she is still recuperating from severe burns she had suffered three months ago.

The girl, who dreams of becoming a teacher, got burned while trying to save her two brothers from the fire that gutted their home in the farming village of Dansolihon in Cagayan de Oro City in late August.


Jecel and her younger brothers—one of them ailing—were left at home when the fire struck.

“We left them momentarily because we had to rush to a nearby pharmacy to buy medicine for our 2-year-old son, who was nursing fever that day,” Maricel, the girl’s mother, said.


When the parents returned, the house had been razed and all three children had suffered burns.

“We did not expect that it will happen,” Maricel said. Jecel’s efforts to save her two brothers did not pay though.

They died a few days later at the Misamis Oriental provincial hospital from serious burns.

“The doctors told us two of the children had no chances of living anymore. The doctors also told us to bring Jecel to Davao,” said Maricel.

She said Jecel, who suffered burns in 45 percent of her body, was brought to the Mindanao Burn Center in September despite the family’s lack of money.

Jecel’s treatment was delayed because of the family’s failure to spend for it although Maricel said the family got help from the city government’s Lingap Program.

Her first dose of antibiotics came only last Monday with the help of donations.


Holding papers containing prescriptions for Jecel, Maricel said she did not know what to do anymore.

She said, though, that she was determined to help Jecel survive. Even Jecel was determined to live, drawing strength from her idol, actress Sarah Geronimo.

“I know it would be difficult. We can’t even buy paracetamol … but she will survive,” Maricel said.

Paracetamol keeps a little of the pain away. But Jecel needs other medicines—albumin, burn ointment and vitamins.

Albumin, a water-soluble protein preparation, costs P5,000 each application.

The lack of medicine prompted Jecel’s body to react to infection. She was having fever when the Inquirer came to see her in her hospital bed yesterday.

Jecel is among 10 indigent patients currently at the 23-bed Mindanao Burn Center of the government-owned Southern Philippine Medical Center here.

The center, established in 2000, is the only burn unit and the largest of its kind in Mindanao. It is dependent on government funds.

Those who want to help Jecel could contact her mother at mobile phone number 09334648855.

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