Ailing teen’s family struggles to pay for treatment
MANILA, Philippines — In 2017, Sedrick Danio was only 11 years old when he was diagnosed with upper gastrointestinal bleeding and portal hypertension — ailments that could become life-threatening if not immediately treated.
To avoid complications, he underwent emergency surgery at a private hospital. The piling medical bills, however, left Danio’s family struggling financially.
“It got to the point where we had nothing left. We had zero money to spend so we had to change hospitals and sell our house,” his mother, Roxanica, told the Inquirer.
So when her son experienced gastrointestinal bleeding for the second time in 2020, Roxanica said she didn’t know what to do.
“His skin started to turn yellow and he was vomiting a lot so we had to rush him to the hospital again, but we didn’t have any money at the time,” she said.
The COVID-19 pandemic had taken away the family’s main source of income, leaving Roxanica’s husband jobless.
“We had to look for side hustles to get by and my husband would work at construction sites so we could afford to buy our daily needs,” she added.
Danio was later referred to Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City, but the numerous health protocols in place made it much harder for him to get checked.
“We had to pay for COVID-19 RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests before he could be treated. It was really hard for us to bring him to the hospital because of the added restrictions,” Roxanica said.
At the moment, Danio is under regular monitoring and must routinely undergo several laboratory tests.
According to Roxanica, her son who is in Grade 9 is not allowed to do any strenuous activities like playing basketball, “so we try to be really careful.”
Now 15 years old, Danio is scheduled to undergo another endoscopy this year after once more experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding. His family is trying to raise around P41,000 for the procedure and other laboratory tests, including urinalysis and fecalysis.
The teenager’s maintenance medicines also cost the family around P800 a day. They include propranolol (for hypertension), folic acid, ursodeoxycholic acid, and Vitamin K, which helps prevent blood clotting.
Those who wish to help the family with Danio’s medical expenses can reach Roxanica at 0999-3502699. Donations can be sent to AUB Bank account no. 006511520061, under her husband’s name, Geraldo S. Danio.
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