Karmina's battle with Myasthenia Gravis and her unquenchable thirst for life
Before the last quarter of 2013, Karmina was just like all of us. Happy, lovestruck and carefree. She would send morning greetings to her friends and talk about how they would celebrate her birthday and then spend the next months planning about it. What happened in the months that followed was similar to something out of an inspirational documentary about never giving up and fighting as long as you're still breathing.
It was during the last months of 2013 when Karmina started having weak episodes and stroke-like symptoms. Couple of times she went to the emergency room to have it checked but was then readily discharged with an advice to seek neurological consult.
Since then, she has had multiple episodes of body weakness to the point that she literally cannot move her entire body. Thankfully, it was relieved by rest. She took that sign to seek consult from a neurologist. There she was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis.
Myasthenia Gravis or MG is an autoimmune disease where her own immune system attacks her body. This disease particularly affects the muscles, beginning with the smaller ones like the muscles of the eye.
She then consulted doctors from Philippine General Hospital where she was advised to undergo thymectomy (removal of the thymus gland). It was theorized that the thymus gland is one part responsible for the exacerbation of her symptoms. The operation was successful. The episodes of MG attacks has become less frequent and manageable.
However, the operation has left Karmina vulnerable due to the inactivity of her immune system. Since then, she has had two surgeries, (the other one was for cholescystectomy) and several comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes, hypothyroidism and osteoporosis---all on top of her existing MG.
In spite of her condition, she kept a positive attitude and strived to live a normal life. She would go out with friends while wearing a face mask. She earns money by working as a virtual assistant. And she continues to plan yearly for her birthday---complete with balloons, cakes and love.
Karmina's 30th birthday in 2016. She made sure she had balloons.
Another birthday party... and Karmina's present!
Last year's Christmas party. She decided on the theme.
No occasion. We just want to hang out!
Everything was working out for her save, for a few falls and some episodes of weakness.
Until one morning when she noticed a small wound on her left thigh which she incurred while playing with her dog. She was treated for the lesion with antibiotics---three different antibiotics, full course---but to no avail. She felt weaker and weaker until she was needed to be admitted again to the hospital.
She is currently under the care of her endocrinologist with referrals to surgery, infectious disease and neurology. Her wound has now spread to the inner part of her left thigh and buttocks. She can barely move and cannot even help herself to use the bedpan to pee.
She is not getting any better and her hospital bill is now at Php256,000 or more than USD4,700. She can barely keep up with the expenses from her medications and is now extremely depleted of funds and hope.
Karmina lost her father to stroke and her mother to aplastic anemia. Her siblings are helping out as best as they can. But they can only do as much given they also have their personal struggles.
So we are counting on your hearts to help us raise funds to get her through this trial. A person's body can only take so much and while we know that she is stronger than most of us, she needs all the help and prayer she can get.
For those who want to donate, just click the DONATE NOW button on this page. Or you can make direct deposits using the banking details below:
UNIONBANK Acc Number: 109453798986
Acc name: Maria Karmina Tam
CHINABANK Acc Number: 260 128401 6
Acc name: Maria Karmina Tam
BPI Acc Number: 1599275386
Acc Name: Concepcion Katrina Tam (sister)