Tuesday, September 19, 2006

URGENT: My Brother STILL needs your help!

Joseph Nichole (we call him Nichi) is my 12-year-old brother who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in November 2001. He has been undergoing chemotherapy ever since. However, he has become more than sick for the past weeks. My family has exhausted all means to help him get well yet he still needs further help.

Because of this, I would like to solicit whatever amount you are willing to give to help maintain my brother’s very expensive medication. As much as my family and I would like to save Nichi’s life, our dwindling financial capability is threatening to put on hold Nichi’s required medical attention.

Just last January, Nichi’s attending Pediatric Hematologist, Dr. Hermogenes Purugganan, recommended that he go through radiotherapy at St. Luke’s Medical Center to eradicate the blast cells (abnormal white cells) that had penetrated his brain. For a while, the results of his regular Intrathecal (IT; the procedure in which cerebro-spinal fluid is taken from his spinal column to determine the presence of blast cells) was OK not until June this year.

In response to this, his doctor designed a more aggressive protocol to treat his Leukemia. It was supposed to run for 22 weeks. However, after Nichi’s 5th week of treatment, he acquired a certain type of weak bacteria which had adverse effects on his immuno-compromised body. The type of bacteria that struck him is not harmful to healthy individuals (immuno-competent individuals). Nevertheless Nichi ended up having fever which eventually led to pneumonia.

He was placed in the ICU for six days. A number of tubes were shoved down his throat: one was connected to the respirator that helped him breathe, another sucked phlegm from his lungs, and still another was used to let food substitutes enter his stomach. After having been moved out of the ICU, he stayed five more days in the hospital for the doctors to closely monitor his status.

Although discharged from the hospital, he still had to continue taking two types of antibiotics, Zyvox and Ciprofluxacin—both rare and expensive—to maintain his improving system.

Last September 8 (Friday), three days after he was discharged from the hospital, Nichi once again began to have fever. He was admitted to PCMC the following day and he still is in the same hospital today. His attending Infectious Disease doctor, Dra. Banez, has introduced another set of antibiotics which entered Nichi’s body through an Intravenous (IV) line to help him fight the infection, plus GCSF to induce white blood cell production.

Come September 12 (Tuesday) Nichi began to have diarrhea which lasted for almost 5 days. He hardly ate anything thus making his body weaker than it already is. A certain type of solution was transfused through Nichi’s IV line every time he defecated to replenish his body‘s lost fluids and to keep him from being dehydrated. Potassium was also incorporated in his IV line to help normalize his body’s dropping potassium level.

Last September 17 (Sunday), while playing a card game with my other brother during his feeling-a-bit-better moments, he suddenly lost consciousness and suffered seizures. It was a good thing that my Dad was able to catch him on time; otherwise his head would have hit the tile floor of the hospital. His Neurologist, Dra. Ortiz, immediately ordered a CT scan which showed atrophy—Nichi’s brain has somehow shrunk which might have caused the seizure.

Yesterday (Sept. 18), Dra. Ortiz ordered that Nichi’s EEG (electroencephalogram) be taken to further observe his brain. As of now we have no news yet about the result of the said test.

Dra. Ortiz also ordered an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) which is supposed to be done at Cardinal Santos Hospital. PCMC is not equipped with an MRI machine. We would have wanted Nichi to have that MRI so that whatever problem there is with his brain, it will be treated immediately. However, my family and I can no longer afford such procedure which, according to the doctor, may range between P12,000.00 - P17,000.00.

Today (September 19), Nichi underwent two units of red blood cell transfusion. By now, most of the veins on both his hands have collapsed making it almost impossible for the doctors to insert a new IV line. But Nichi is a very brave boy. He is willing to endure all the needle punctures for his medicine and blood tests just to get well.

We are not yet sure until when these treatments will go but we are hoping that they will help Nichi recover as soon as possible.

Because of these series of events, I have decided to muster enough courage to personally ask you to help save my brother with whatever amount you are willing to give.

If you are interested in helping, you can reach me through the following contact numbers:

Cellphone number: +639167911066
Landline (residence): (+632) 641-7090
(Office): 671-0555 loc. 108
Email address: battik14@yahoo.com

Thank you very much and may you be blessed for your kindness.

Tyrene Delgado

P.S. I would greatly appreciate it if you can forward this letter to anyone whom you know may be able to help my brother. Thanks again.

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