Mary-Jane Aquino-Mariano gave birth to a beautiful son, Lanz-Dhrei six weeks premature by emergency cesarean due to a medical condition called Preeclampsia.
Lanz-Dhrei was just 2 kg at birth and given his lungs were underdeveloped, he has been kept in an incubator to help him breathe and was fed by a tube.
Mary-Jane lives in the Philippines, which experiences considerable inequities in health care and high levels of out of pocket costs.
For over two weeks, Mary-Jane was at his side, but because her and her husband Vilmar couldn’t afford a hospital room, Mary-Jane was sleeping on the floor of the hospital corridors.
Mary-Jane and Vilmar have suffered considerable challenges around bringing Lanz-Dhrei home, as patients are often detained at hospitals in the Philippines until bills have been paid. Mary-Jane and her husband received temporary assistance from a relative who has provided a promissory note, and they have since taken Lanz-Dhrei home.
They will be back and forth from the hospital over the coming weeks. The financial burden and stress is taking it’s toll on Mary-Jane and Vilmar, as they have no savings or assets to mortgage.
So far the hospital bills have reached 142,000 peso, which is around USD$3025. They have insurance and are seeking government assistance, but it will only cover 30,600 peso, or USD$650, leaving USD$2,375 owing.
With no stable source of income they cannot meet the basic needs of hospitalisation and medication. Like many Filipinos, Vilmar was providing for his family by living and working abroad in Qatar. Last March, he returned to the Philippines to see his family. Vilmar is applying to go back to Qatar to finish his two year contract, but it is unknown when he will return due to processing delays.
Since then he has been working in construction locally, but earning significantly less. He is earning 250 peso per day, or around USD$5.30. This is only enough to cover their food each day. The family also has to supplementary feed their premature baby, and the special milk formula is 700 peso (three days salary) for one small box.
We have decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to raise the remaining money needed to assist Mary-Jane and her family. Our funding goal is to raise USD$2,500 to allow Mary-Jane and her family to pay their hospital and doctors’ expenses, and provide for ongoing hospital check-ups and medicine.
If you would like to help, you can make a donation via debit or credit card or through PayPal at the GoGetFunding website. All donations received will remain secure in the GoGetFunding eWallet, and funds raised will go directly to Mary-Jane in the Philippines.
Mary-Jane and Vilmar would be extremely grateful for any assistance as it will mean:
- Mary-Jane can focus on her milk supply and supplementary feeding without worrying about her baby’s health and the expense.
- Baby Lanz-Dhrei will get all the milk he needs to grow strong and healthy.
- Mary-Jane and Vilmar can pay back the money they borrowed and avoid the interest payments on that borrowing.
- Completely remove the burden and stress of escalating debt, for years to come.
Mary-Jane is the sister of Dinalyn, our Foreign Domestic Helper in Singapore. Dinalyn has been sending over her salary for medicine, but has two dependents of her own.