Youngest dialysis patient fights for life at ICU

Apr 8, 2017

BAGUIO CITY – More than anybody else, the on-going signature campaign towards making dialysis a free medical emergency service is for 12-year old Marie Joy Ligudon.
The youngest among hundreds of patients here who have to undergo life-time dialysis, the kid has been confined for more than a week now for complications at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
“She’s at the ICU (intensive care unit),” said her adoptive mother, Gina Epe who has been taking care of Mary Joy since 2003, when the kid was brought to Baguio for urinary tract infection.
The illness resulted in kidney failure, necessitating thrice-a-week hemodialysis for life, something Epe vowed to provide as if she were the kid’s mother.
“Right now, we’re in need of blood donors to replace what we got from the Baguio City Red Cross,” she said.
People who can bleed for her may submit themselves for extraction at the Red Cross office along Harrison Road here.
More than anything, the adoptive family needs cash, not only for the accumulating confinement bills but for Mary Joy’s medicines.
Part of the girl’s confinement cost may be charged to her annual Philhealth support of 90 dialysis sessions a year. This would mean her dialysis allocation for the year might no longer be enough as her medicines and hospitalization are chargeable to the limited account.
Compared to many adult-patients, the kid has shown inner strength when the two dialysis needles pierce her arm during her dialysis scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The fourth of five children of a marginal farmer in Ifugao, Mary Joy was brought to the BGHMC in April 2003 by Aguinaldo town mayor Gaspar Chilagan.
Gina and her twin daughters were then visiting a sick relative in the same isolation room of the hospital when they overheard the kid’s father saying he had no money purchase her medicines.
The twins, Jordynne and Lordynne, asked their mother an amount that they used to buy the kid’s medicines.
With help from friends, among them Benguet barangay councils president Bernard Waclin, the Epe family took care of the ailing girl.
When the girl was about to be released, her father asked if he could leave her to the care of Epe’s as the kid still had to undergo periodic check-ups.
Last May, Marie Joy was diagnosed for end-stage renal failure and had to start her life-time dialysis treatment.
Her adoptive family took the challenge, with Jordynne and Lordyne, who are now working in Australia, regularly sending support to sustain her thrice-a-week dialysis.
As many dialysis patients know, however, dialysis maintenance is no easy task, with some eventually calling it quits just to save whatever’s left of their resources for the children.
People who would like to support Epe in her family’s struggle to save a 12-year old’s life may ring her up at 09198169234.
They may course their aid through the BGHMC dialysis staff by calling nurse Carmen Bumatnong (09155368289) or social worker Nora Mangusan (09984651939). Ramon Dacawi / ABN

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