This is Rhonalyn Espinosa, a Grade 11 student from Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines. Rhona is the second child of a helper and a carpenter. She is a hard-working, kind and cheerful young lady who dreams of being a teacher someday. Rhona has been a scholar of Los Banos since first year high school. To make ends meet, she works part-time as our babysitter and helper during weekdays after school and during weekends.
Rhona got sick with very high fever the day after her 17th birthday. The night of her birthday she was very normal, took off from her duties to be with family then attended a worship service with friends . The high fever went on for 3 days so she was brought to the hospital. There her condition got worse, she could not talk anymore and she had to be transferred to the ICU of another well-equipped hospital . She had severe tonsillitis, very low hemoglobin and platelets and was not responding the high grade antibiotics. She was in pain and delirious from the high fever and mix of medications. She fought for her life for 3 long days, She had to be given bone marrow injection, a very expensive medicine , which still did not work . Another injection was needed , another huge expense on top of the other ICU and hospital expenses. Thanks to lots of prayers and the doctors, and to God, Rhona slowly recovered, her platelets increased little by little until she was discharged after almost 2 weeks in two hospitals. She was allowed to go home but Rhona is still not well.
Almost a month previously, Rhona had difficulty swallowing . Doctors found she has hyperthyroidism possibly Graves' disease. So she has been taking medications to alleviate the disorder, and was being monitored by an endoctrinologist. Unknown initially to the doctor the medicines Rhona were taking had the side effect of lowering her platelets and her body's immune system so that when she got an infection on the night of her birthday it became almost fatal. The medication for hyperthyroidism was stopped when this was found out. Til today Rhona's disease could not be treated because of her adverse reaction to the medicines for it. She appears to have contracted pulmonary tuberculosis which similarly could not be treated because she got allergic to the medicine for it.
The doctor is therefore recommending her transfer to Philippine General Hospital (PGH) so a team of specialists can study her unique case. She was also referred there for possible radiaoctive iodine therapy and repeat chest X-ray. In the meantime her family is faced with the huge expenses incurred . The first hospital bill was PhP 27000 including the medicines bought outside, the second bill was a whopping PhP 137000 Philhealth , PCSO, already deducted. For her father who is a carpenter without a full-time job and mother who is a helper with 3 other children this is a big problem. Her family and ours pooled resources for her to be discharged from the hospital though not yet fully paid. Expenses will still be incurred when she is treated further in PGH.
We are asking for any kind or amount of assistance to help our dear babysitter overcome this rare disease.