Medical Bills for Gem’s Viral Encephalitis

Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Sep 07, 2015

Day 42. Road to Recovery.

5 days into her rehabilitation and still unfortunately very little progress in terms of movement or response along her left side. In all fairness however, there were a few days during which her physical therapy was withheld due to fever. Her doctors and therapists recommended against proceeding while she was in that condition, which in turn set her progress back a couple of days -not too bad, so long as her condition remains stable. For the most part, a lot of the exercises done by her therapists can be be easily learned and replicated. Apparently what is important is the machine they use to stimulate her muscles. I am guessing the purpose is to revive the connection between her brain and her left side motor skills. Hopefully she starts showing better progress over the next few days.

On a related note, she has also started the first few sessions of her occupational therapy to help rehabilitate some of her core motor skills such as chewing, swallowing, and speech, along with cognitive therapy to improve memory and response. This angle of rehabilitation is geared towards training her to recover and return to a more stable and functional condition, ahead of discharge and proceeding with home treatment. Thankfully, this side her therapy is showing promise. She has somewhat progressed well enough to sit up and maintain conversation, along with re-learning to eat solid food such as gelatin and lugaw (to begin with) -This is a good sign. Let's all hope this continues so she can speed her way to a full recovery.

Anyway. I'll be signing off for now. I will visit the hospital again tomorrow to again check on her progress and hopefully talk to her therapists regarding her rehab program and what to expect along the way. I will post another update by tomorrow. Thank you all again for following this campaign and reading my updates. :)

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Sep 03, 2015

Day 38. First day of therapy.

Sorry for the late update, I just came home from visiting the hospital.

Today was her first session of physical therapy. The session consisted of some form of electrical current used to stimulate certain muscles along her left side, which was then followed by a series of massages and structured exercises to re-condition her body for future sessions. I am guessing this will be the pattern for all of her initial therapy. Most likely to stimulate and promote muscle recognition and movement, before proceeding to more complex sessions to regain strength and functionality. So far so good however, I still plan to have a talk with her therapist to find out actual program and/or path for her rehabilitation (eg. how many sessions, type of therapy, goals and expectations). Something to look forward to over the next few days/weeks.

Apart from her scheduled physical therapy she will also be enrolling in a few sessions of what they call, occupational therapy. According to her doctors, this type of therapy will be used to exercise and re-condition her brain following the side effects and damage caused by her TB Meningitis and hydrocephalus. From what I understand, the scope of this therapy will be to promote memory, cognition, responsiveness, and sensory skills. This I assume will complement her physical therapy and aid in speeding up her overall response to treatment. At least I hope this will be the case.

So close yet still so far. Such is the tale of this long and winding road towards recovery. What we can at least be thankful for is that we are out of the immediate danger zone. We just need to focus efforts now towards her prescribed treatment (medication), immediate care and the continuation of her therapy and rehabilitation. From here on out it turns into a waiting game. Lets all just hope and pray for her to have the strength and will power to foster a full recovery or as close to it as we can get. Fight! :)

Anyways, I hope you all aren't sick of my updates yet. Hehe. Thank you again to all those who have helped to support this campaign. Your thoughts prayers, concern and contributions, however small or large, mean absolutely the world to her. Thank you!

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Aug 31, 2015

Day 34. Therapy.

Hi everyone. It's been a while since my last update. To recap, it's been 6 days since she had her VP shunting surgery. Since then, her progress and overall improvement has been good. She is awake when she should be, she is interacting with people around her, her memory is showing improvement, she can more or less hold a conversation and she is regaining some strength and movement. Don't get me wrong however, she is still relatively far from being out of the woods. I have still noticed some mild confusion over the past few days wherein she sometimes says things or understand things slightly different to normal. She also still has some memory issues including times where she may or may not recognize who she is speaking with. She also seems to be having some issues with her vision -although difficult to gauge, we will definitely need to have it checked.

On the brighter side of things, her doctors say she is more or less outside of the immediate danger zone. What is important from now on will be the careful monitoring and adherence to her treatment and medication. With proper training and preparation, she may even be able to proceed with treatment from home instead of at the hospital. This however, will not be an instant transition. In her current state she will still be needing a lot of care and support -which of course needs to be studied, meticulously planned out and very carefully executed. I am referring specifically to factors such as the ongoing physical therapy she will need in order to regain control of her left side, speech and vision, careful adherence to her dietary need which for the moment, still needs to be administered via NGT (she is still not strong enough to maintain a full diet of solid food), careful monitoring of her condition including vitals and any minor changes that could indicate more serious problems and regular checkups to monitor her progress throughout the span of her treatment (more or less one year).

Anyway, I'm on the way to the hospital now for a visit, I will be checking her status and speaking with her doctors regarding her treatment. I have recently asked her doctors to proceed with her initial therapy sessions to at least get started on the correct path towards her recovery. I have also asked to have her eyes checked by an ophthalmologist to gauge any impact to her vision. I hope nothing serious has been impacted, I will keep you all updated on this.

Lastly, you can all expect more frequent updates from now on. Again I apologize again for my lack of updates recently, I was flat out with all preparations for her fundraising event. Speaking of which, the fundraising event which happened last Friday (08.28.2015) was fairly successful. It somewhat fell below my expectations due to rain and heavy traffic from the rally along Edsa but for the most part, we were able to succeed in pushing through and selling enough tickets to rat least raise some money. Thank you to all those who participated and contributed to this event. All proceeds will go towards her treatment and medication. Thank you!

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Aug 25, 2015

Day 27. VP shunting surgery? Check!

Sorry guys. I have just been so busy the past few days. I've been spending time prepping and sorting out all needs and requirements prior to our event this coming Friday. So far we are pretty much good to go with that.

Anyway, to make up for my lack of updates the past few days, a slightly more cheerful update this time around. So there. After the looong wait, we are finally over and done with her VP shunting surgery that had been previously recommended by her doctors. For those that aren't aware, the purpose of this surgery was to relieve the inter-cranial pressure that built up due to her hydrocephalus, which consequently, arose as a complication from her TB Meningitis. So there.. I'm happy to report that the surgery was a success. It was completed in a little less than one(1) hour wherein (thankfully) there were no complications.

After her surgery, She spent approximately two(2) hours in the recovery area before being returned to her room. Although still very weak and sore from her surgery, a pleasant surprise was that she was almost immediately showing signs of improvement. She was awake by the time she returned to her room and during time spent talking with her, I noticed remarkable improvements in her cognitive and sensory skills. She was immediately able to comprehend and recognize her 2 brothers who she hadn't seen in a while and who had just arrived from the province. As well as her improved speech and her ability to even crack a few jokes (pretty funny too, i'll hand it to her).

Her neurosurgeon mentioned that upon conducting the surgical procedure he encountered very high levels of pressure noticed immediately after burring into her skull. I'm guessing the instant pressure relief is what caused the marked improvement in her sensorium. Although still a long journey ahead, the road at least, looks a lot brighter. Her specialists say that pressure will gradually be released through the shunt over the course of the next few days. This they say, will immediately cause her to spend more and more time awake and will improve her consciousness and overall cognition. This is definitely something to look forward to and I will make sure to keep you all posted as often as I can.

On another slightly related note, our event this coming Friday is all systems go! I'm happy to announce that so far we have received an overwhelming response to the overall campaign including the ticket sales and the t-shirt pre-orders. I am currently in the process of documenting all ticket pre-orders so I can compare with the initial batch of stock that I ordered. This will allow me to more accurately gauge the number of shirts we have on hand against the number I still need to have printed. Again, thank you all for your support! Much love! Peace!

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Aug 22, 2015

Day 24. Nearing surgery

Sorry I haven't been able to post an update over the past 2 days. I have been spending my time preparing arrangements and planning for her benefit gig which will be held this coming Friday.

Anyway, I just came from the hospital earlier today to talk with her doctor. According to Dr. Tiu (her infectious disease specialist), she is still doing OK so far. He explained that most of her symptoms now can be attributed to her hydrocephalus, and that her prognosis will look much better once the operation has been done. This will be early next week -just need to wait for the schedule. This is very comforting news although I still can't help but be worried about possible downside resulting from the time wasted leading up to the surgery. Let's hope that there aren't any complications and that all goes according to plan. Dr. Tiu also mentioned that as soon as the surgery has been completed and the inter-cranial pressure relieved, she will spend a lot more time awake. I look forward to that. At least by then we will have a better overview on her condition and hopefully her recovery.

Regarding her benefit gig which I mentioned above, all the plans and preparation are complete. There is a facebook event which I am using specifically to promote and provide updates regarding the gig. You can check the page for any updates regarding bands, event program, shirts, tickets and any other details I might end up posting there. See you all at the event!

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/490532914439254/

Event poster:

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Aug 20, 2015

Day 22

Sorry I wasn't able to post this update last night, I got home pretty late. I had to wait for her attending physician to do his rounds last night so I could talk to him regarding the next action items in her treatment path.

Unfortunately, after a mix up in signing a waiver instead of a consent form, the test which was supposed to have been done yesterday was postponed pending a decision by her attending. I waited until late last night for her attending physician to do his rounds, where I explained the mix up and that her parents actually intended to consent and not waive the recommendation for the said test. Her doctor understood and ordered the test to be expedited for the following morning (today). So here we are, just waiting for her blood to be extracted and sent to the lab. I hope this doesn't take long. All of her doctors are really pushing for this surgery to push through since she is really not showing improvement in terms of her hydrocephalus.

Like I mentioned above, really no signs of improvement so far. Yes she is talking and yes, she somewhat responds when spoken to however, there are now times when her responses are not as accurate as they used to be, with increasingly frequent episodes of confusion. I really don't think this is good. She really needs this surgery done soon. hopefully the tests get done soon.

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Aug 18, 2015

Day 21. Three weeks..

Been in the hospital a total of three weeks as of today.

Just one last test result waiting before surgery. Hopefully we can get that by tomorrow.

I'm really not sure what to make of her condition. I was talking with her earlier today and there were a few things I noticed. She seems to know the people talking to her but there are times she has episodes of confusion. She knew me at first but after a while she started calling me by someone else's name (for a few minutes) and also confusing me for one of her classmates. I don't really know what that means. I'm also a little bit concerned about her vision. Well, most of the time she has her eyes closed but when I ask her to open her eyes she does. I thought at first she could see me until I noticed she had somewhat a blank stare. I didn't think anything of it at first until I started asking her questions about what she could see, color of my shirt etc. I noticed she was somehow only guessing the color and at one point she mentioned she could really see anything. I don't know how accurate that is though, since this was also parallel to her episodes of confusion (her answers at times were all over the place - hard to tell what was true or not). I'm a bit worried. Hopefully I can discuss this with one of her doctors by tomorrow when I arrive at the hospital.

Update regarding the fundraising concert/gig that we are planning is that we are looking at a tentative date of either 08/28/2015 or 08/29/2015. We are currently looking into 2 possible venues. Either Metrowalk (the outdoor center stage area) or The Crowd. I still need to check with our contacts at those 2 venues. I will keep this campaign posted on updates before eventually creating a Facebook event once all details are final.. We plan to have the specifics finalized before Thursday this week before spending the remaining time ticket selling. I am also considering selling shirts leading up to and, during the actual event. This would be for additional fundraising. Let me know if anyone has any thoughts around this or any suggestions we can take into consideration. My number is 0925511104.

Thank you all for your ongoing support. Goodnight!

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Aug 17, 2015

Day 20. Nearing the 3 week mark.

Had her x-ray done earlier today, the results should be out some time tomorrow. She also has fasting tonight for 8 hours ahead of her CT scan which is also scheduled for tomorrow morning. All in all, blood tests and imaging results should be ready very soon. From there, we just need to wait for a reading from her doctors and her neurosurgeon. They will use the data gathered to make their decision/recommendation and advise if and when her surgery will be scheduled.

In terms of her condition and progress, I would say that she seems to doing OK so far -at least in terms of overall improvement. My only worrying observation is still that she is having more and more trouble staying awake. Nothing seems to be wrong with her cognition and comprehension. We are able to talk with her and she seems to be able to understand, comprehend and accurately respond to her surroundings and the questions that we ask her. Her only recent complaints are still the ongoing headache and stiff neck, which I am guessing is still due to her TB Meningitis. She also mentioned having difficulty keeping her eyes open because she says she feels nauseous and that her head and eyelids feel very very heavy. That, and that she always feels very sleepy. This I am still attributing to her hydrocephalus. I hope we can schedule her surgery soon so that we can have a more accurate overview of her improvement and progress towards recovery.

Regarding other events, we are still working on organizing a fundraising concert her additional awareness and fundraising for her surgery. We hope to get it all planned out soon so that we can start promoting and selling tickets. At the moment, we are still in the process of looking for additional bands and a final venue. If anyone has any suggestions or knows anyone who could help to plan this, please feel free to contact me. My contact number is 0925 511 0104. Hopefully we can get this planned soon. We would like to have it scheduled as soon as possible. Most likely on a Friday soonest. Thanks. :)

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Aug 16, 2015

Day 19.

No significant updates for today.

We are still waiting for results of the two(2) blood tests her neurosurgeon ordered along with the schedule of another CT scan also ordered by her doctors (latest image will be needed before any surgery takes place). Her parents gave consent for the CT scan just earlier today. Just need to wait for a schedule. Sometime early this week I'm guessing.

Latest development in her condition is that she started singing sometime last night. Her parents were surprised to hear her suddenly bursting into song sometime in the middle of last night. Not sure if she was sleep-singing or if she was awake. Her brothers were also able to capture a video of her singing earlier this afternoon. To be honest, I'm not really sure what to make of it. I mean, I can't really tell what that would mean in relation to her illness/condition -referring specifically to the fact that her illness is neurological and even the tiniest signs and symptoms could mean something. Then again, I could just be overthinking -maybe it doesn't mean anything at all. Maybe she really just wanted to sing. I don't know. It was nice to hear her singing though. I'm also taking it as a good sign that she can still recall lyrics and melody.

On the topic of singing, I was talking with her brothers and cousin earlier today. We are looking into organizing a fundraising gig/concert to help raise awareness and funds towards her ongoing medication, treatment, surgery and future rehabilitation. We will be collaborating our efforts over the next few days to prepare all the requirements for this event along with the invitation of bands to perform, venue, ticket selling etc. Hopefully we can get this planned correctly and that it will be successful. I will keep this campaign updated with the progress of that.

Thanks again for following this campaign. All of your thoughts, prayers, concern and support are very important and is very much appreciated. Thank you!

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Update posted by Yvan Marco Tolentino On Aug 15, 2015

Day 18.

So far still waiting for the go-signal to proceed with surgery.

After just coming back from the hospital the main thing I noticed was that her lethargy seemed to be getting worse. She is progressively spending more and more time asleep than she is awake, and even when she is awake, she mostly has her eyes closed, is very sleepy, has limited response and/or returns to sleep within around 1-2 min.

Again I am no doctor but honestly, I really don't think this is a good sign at all. I think maybe because her parents are so relieved by the fact that she is now able to talk and move a little better (which is good, don't get me wrong..), they somewhat misread the symptoms, overlooked the lethargy and thus reported to her doctor(s) only the good signs of her recovery. I'm pretty sure had her specialist(s) been aware that she is spending nearly all of her time sleeping as the days progressed, they probably would have taken this into consideration and made recommendations accordingly -just my assumption.

Anyway, moving forward I just made sure to inform her attending physician before I left the hospital. Dr. Salcedo was actually not aware that her lethargy was getting worse. In fact, he thought the patient was improving and also spending less time asleep because of all the good reports of her cognitive and sensory responsiveness. He advised that he would discuss this with the other specialists and that they would get back to us.

For now I guess we just need to wait for the pending test results and also her doctors' recommendations.

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Guest

Backed with ₱2200.00 On Aug 31, 2015

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Stay strong guys. Thoughts are with you.

Joseph Roberts

Backed with ₱3000.00 On Aug 28, 2015

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Praying for her healing and that more people will support this campaign. :)

Maria Teresa Joson

Backed with ₱500.00 On Aug 27, 2015

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Maysh

Backed with ₱1000.00 On Aug 26, 2015

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Lord, heal her...

charm i.

Backed On Aug 26, 2015 Amount Hidden

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Hi Howie Cruz. Sorry I’ve been so busy lately. Ayun. Our friend is confined at World Citi Medical Center. This is located corner Anonas St. and Aurora Blvd. Her mother, Gemma Mabacyao (same name, I know) is there most of the time caring for our patient and attendnig to her daily needs. Her father is often out during the day also raising funds for her treatment. He can usually be found there during evenings. For those who are interested in visiting or offering direct help. By all means. This would be very much appreciated. You will find her located in room 1017. Thank you again for all of your support. You guys are a blessing! Thank you!

Yvan Marco Tolentino

Posted On Aug 25, 2015

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bakit wala pong info ang maysakit... address po nya at kung saang hospital siya naka confine? mas okay po sana kung meron para po sa mga personal at ahensya na gustong tumulong...

howie cruz

Posted On Aug 24, 2015

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