Who is my grandmother?
Her name is Ma. Eileen E. Libao – a widower with five living children. Three of them are high school graduates while the youngest one graduated college. My mom is the eldest. She is an assistant teacher in Qatar who has 4 children – two in college, one in high school and one in primary. She has a salary not even enough for a month. She sends us money every month for my grandmom’s medication (insulin and other maintenance medicines), for the electricity and water bills, for our everyday food, for school allowances and monthly tuition fees, and for the common commodities. Even if she has nothing left for herself, she still tries to give everything for us. The second has a twin sister but is already gone to the Lord with her beautiful baby. The living twin is a single parent with a very beautiful 8-year old daughter. She is currently a call center agent with a minimum wage but still tries her best to give my grandmom money monthly. The third is working in a computer repair shop who earns Php 200 – Php 300 daily. The fourth and youngest is currently looking for a job. My grandmother is a selfless person. She sacrifices everything she can and has for us. Everybody loves her because of her pure heart. She is really great in cooking and I will never get enough of her delicious dishes. Please help me taste her delicious dishes as long as I live.
January 20, 2017 when my grandmother, Ma. Eileen E. Libao, was rushed to the hospital because her stomach became very hard. She said that she felt it for three days already and didn’t bother to tell us because she thought that she was just constipated. She can’t even eat because everytime she does, even just a small amount of food made her vomit more than what she just ate. After conducting laboratory tests, it was known that her hemoglobin was very low. The doctor immediately set her for admission. She kept on telling us not to agree with the doctor and just go back home because of the lack of money. Despite her request, we didn’t think twice and agreed with the doctor’s order. We immediately contacted my mother and she tried to borrow money for my grandmom’s confinement. After that, great people with beautiful heart lent my mom money. My mom accumulated a total of Php 120,000.
My grandmom happened to have a Type II Diabetes, so the doctor concluded that she was suffering from Gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a disorder that affects people with Type I and Type II Diabetes in which the stomach takes too long to empty its content. She stayed in the hospital for 10 days. What they did to her within those days were 2-bag blood transfusion, x-rays, had her heart checked with 2-D Echo and stress test before undertaking endogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), the EGD itself, and blood sugar checking every 30 minutes to an hour because of her Diabetes that needed blood sugar monitoring etc. The EGD was performed after 6 days of confinement since the doctor wanted her stomach empty. The doctor first wanted the EGD to be performed after 3 days, but after those days it’s still full so he decided to wait another 3 days, but still, after 6 days it was still full so he was more eager to perform the EGD because he really wanted to see what’s inside her stomach. During the EGD, he told us that he saw a bump or tumor but he wasn’t able to perform a biopsy (to know if it’s malignant or not) because the oxygen level of my grandmom dropped because of her full stomach. She went out of the hospital after 10 days without doctor’s advice because the bill was already Php 89,000 and we already spent around Php 4,000 for the fare and food of the people who had accompanied her. The excess from the borrowed money were for her follow-ups. Two months of follow-ups and still there’s no progress except that she’s suffering from Gastroparesis. Due to that, the family decided to get a second opinion from another hospital.
On March 24, 2017, in the emergency room, they conducted tests which again, included blood test in which they got a very low hemoglobin level. Because of this, she was admitted in an instant and got a blood transfussion. We explained that her stomach doesn’t digest the food gave all the test results from the previous hospital. She was again admitted. The doctor set the EGD after three days. They conducted an X-ray first before the EGD and saw that the stomach is still full. Even after knowing this, the doctor is very determined to conduct a biopsy because he really wanted to be sure if it’s malignant or benign. The biopsy took two hours instead of the usual one hour process. It took an hour longer because her stomach is too full and they had to suction it in order to remove the undigested food.
He said that the result will be given to us 5 days after and my grandmom needs to rest first because she was given a general anesthesia. Even if there was no result yet, he wanted the tumor to be removed as soon as possible because it’s already big. A surgeon told us that we need to prepare Php 500,000 for her operation but we did not have that big of a money. So he suggested that we go to another hospital where he also works. Still, he wanted us to prepare Php 300,000. My mom again borrowed money and accumulated a total of around Php 90,000. We went out of the hospital a day after because the bill was already Php 83,000. We got the result on the fifth day, the doctor told us that the tumor was malignant and it was needed to be removed asap. My grandmom cried and seeing her cry was really heartbreaking. All I can do was hug her and told her that everything will be ok. We still went to the hospital that the surgeon suggested. When we got to the said hospital, grandmom’s gastrologist, happens to be working there as well and helped us. He recommended us in the social service. The operating doctors will not be paid, but everything else was on us. He wanted us to prepare Php 200,000. My mom again borrowed money from different people then got a total of around Php 110,000, that was the borrowed money she can only get. Because of this, we still tried to look for other hospitals. Out of nowhere an aunt of mine who didn’t get in contact with us for years called, and suggested a semi-private hospital. We thought that there was really something that God is planning for us. We went there a day after we received the call. They offered a Php 150,000 package to us. We told the doctors about the situation of my grandmother and they told us that there is a Php 150,000 package in social service including the surgeon’s fee. Seeing that we were still in doubt because of the package price, a doctor told us that he knows a surgeon and he can recommend us to the said surgeon, and the Php 150,00 will still be lessen. He surely was an angel in disguise.
Thinking that this hospital offered the lowest rate, and the doctor was really into helping us we agreed and my grandma was set to have her operation on April 10, 2017. We were still worried because of the money, but the doctor was really eager to help us. The operation was very successful. They got an 11-cm tumor from her and told us that they cut 2/3 of her stomach, so that they will be sure that the end-to-end of the tumor was removed. But still they weren't sure if she still needs to undergo the chemotherapy or not. We went home as soon as the doctor told us that she can go home because the bill was rising and we can't afford a longer stay for her even if we wanted her to be taken care of properly because the hospital equipment was complete. When we got the bill, it was Php 120, 000 because 20% senior citizen discount was deducted, we told the doctor that we only have a total of Php 100,000 and it was not enough. He immediately went to the social service office then when we got the new bill; it was lowered to Php 86,000. He was such a blessing to us especially to my grandma.
Follow ups were set every Wednesdays where required to check her. Good thing, I don’t have class every Wednesday so I accompanied her. We were eager to know the result of the operation – if whether she needs a chemotherapy or not – but the doctor said that he will tell us after her wound heals. After two follow-ups, he may have forgotten to tell us about the result and we did too. So in the third follow-up, we asked about it, and unfortunately, she had stage III cancer and needed chemotherapy as soon as her wound heals. She cried again, seeing her cry makes me want to break down but I can't. I am one of her strengths right now and I can't let her see thet I'm weak. The same hospital offered us a chemotherapy costing around Php 60,000 and a doctor’s fee more that Php 10,000 per session which we can't afford anymore.
My mom also cried when she called me at school. She can't find someone to borrow from but was trying to get a bank loan. She said that it was going to be hard especially with Qatar’s current crisis. We looked for another hospital and the lowest price we got is a public hospital offering Php 44, 800 and a Php 7,000 doctor’s fee per session. There were a total of 8 sessions. We were running out of time and even without money we agreed and the doctor set the first session last July 15th.
I am writing now because we tried to look for other options like getting help from government offices and politicians and we gathered a total of Php 41,000 for the past weeks. Everyday, we line up in government offices starting 3am because the line gets very long if we arrive at a later time. We also borrowed money from other people to meet the needed money.
Right now, I am requesting help from people like you to please help us financially. If you can’t, it’s okay. Prayers are deeply appreciated by my family and by my grandmother as well. More than Php 50,000 per session means a total of more than Php 400,000. Php 700,000 is what we really need right now. The excess money will be for her chemotherapy sessions, cancer marks tests, CT scans every before and after chemo sessions and other needed laboratory tests.
Right now, we can’t give a reward because of the financial crisis we’re facing but I promise that all the money and prayers are deeply appreciated by the whole family especially my grandmother. We are very thankful and grateful from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you so much!
If ever you are having problems with paypal, a more preferred way:
This is my own bank account.
Banco De Oro (BDO) Savings Account:
Account Name: Franchesca Joyce Balani
Account Number: 000040690342
Thank you so much and God Bless! :)