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INTENSIVE CARE CORNER

Kidney patient feels like giving up but his family keeps him going

05:44 AM May 26, 2022
Ariston Belza Espinosa

Ariston Belza Espinosa

The past two years have been draining—physically, emotionally and financially—for Ariston Belza Espinosa and his family.

Since being diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney disease in October 2020, the 60-year-old former salesperson from Rodriguez town in Rizal province has been undergoing dialysis regularly at World Citi Medical Center in Quezon City.

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From the initial twice a week, his dialysis sessions have been hiked to thrice weekly after a cardiologist found him to also be at risk of heart failure in July last year. A 2D echocardiography and an electrocardiogram test scheduled next month will help his doctor determine if Espinosa will also need regular heart-strengthening therapy.

At the moment, he is taking 17 different kinds of medicine which cost his family over P12,000 a week, in addition to P11,000 every two weeks for his dialysis sessions. Overall, they must be prepared to shell out up to P70,000 a month for his treatment and medication.

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Although most of Espinosa’s medical expenses have so far been covered by four of his five children who are already working, the family recently made a tough but practical choice. With their father’s health card already maxed-out and their savings depleted, his children and his partner, Marivic Llarena, have decided to reach out to friends and Inquirer readers for financial assistance to continue his treatment.

Llarena said Espinosa was initially against their decision, being a stubborn man who hated bothering other people. But he changed his mind when he saw the positive response to the appeal for help written by his brother, Aries, and his children.

“He was teary-eyed. He told me, ‘I can’t believe so many are willing to help us.’ I told him he shouldn’t be surprised because he is a good man who has helped other people, too,” Llarena told the Inquirer.

Dealing with his condition has not been easy for Espinosa who at times feels like giving up, she said.

“I tell him, ‘What about us who are still fighting so that we can all continue being together? God isn’t sleeping. You should keep fighting. You should also help yourself.’”

Those who want to help Espinosa can deposit their donations in his China Banking Corp. savings account (Ariston Belza Espinosa with account number 131202018316) or RCBC savings account (Ariston B. Espinosa with account number 1331220805). Llarena can be contacted at 0918-9065190 while Espinosa’s brother, Aries, can be reached at 0928-1069717. —STEPHANIE R. ASUNCION

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