08/24/16 Lexa says goodbye to her dad at Funeraria Filipinas Las Pinas.
8/22/16 Our friend Mark's heart stopped earlier today. He is now with our Lord & Savior in heaven. Thank you for all the prayers. Please do continue to share this page on social media, or extend help if you can. Our friend's widow Loren has been left with a massive hospital bill that needs to be settled (please see file uploaded in previous update), & we are trying to help ease her burden. Thank you.
8/4/16 Hello! This campaign is for our friend & brother in Christ, Mark Ballozos (nickname Marcus MrYozos on Facebook). He is currently at the Asian Hospital & Medical Center in Muntinlupa, Philippines, where he was taken to the ER, fell unconscious, & slipped into a coma nearly 3 weeks ago. The post below was written by Mark's wife Loren, & was posted on his Facebook page.
We (Mark's friends from church) set up this page, but donations go directly to Mark's wife, Lorena de Lara Ballozos, who manages his hospital bills. Feel free to verify information with Asian Hospital &/or Paypal. In Paypal, the recipient of your donation is Lorena Ballozos. You can double-check before sending anything. Thank you.
"July 16, Saturday was a day the Lord allowed our family to experience an extraordinary day. It would have been the usual routine schedule every parent would spend with their kids on a weekend, but God had something else in mind for mine.
My husband, Mark Ballozos, experienced difficulty in breathing, and the lower part of his body was bloated. We went to Tokyo Healthlink for a checkup that Saturday afternoon and was strongly advised by the doctor to proceed to a hospital for further diagnosis and clinical tests. Worried that the hospital might not accept his insurance card, Marcus was hesitant to go to the ER at first, but I managed to convince him. Since Marcus' HMO covers Asian Hospital, we went to the Emergency room & were admitted to a regular room on the same day.
The following day, Sunday afternoon, the head doctor in charge of Marcus' condition delivered a not so good news: that his heart is in bad shape based on the lab tests and X-ray. It showed that the part where the heart pumps blood is dilated. He recommended bringing him to the ICU asap for close monitoring. Marcus was wheeled into the ICU conscious. After a few hours in the ICU, his heart stopped beating. The doctors were only able to revive him after around 40 minutes.
'He is comatose,'
I heard the doctor say, but it just did not sink in. Shocked, scared, I thought of Lexa waiting outside the
ICU, wondering what had become of her daddy. I don't even remember saying anything. Silently, I went inside his room, saying nothing, just held his hand, & looked at him on life support. It never crossed my mind that I would ever see him in such a state.
When all was said and done, (doctors leaving, nurses given instructions) alone in the room I felt tears trickling down my cheeks, & they just kept flowing. Until the nurse said, 'You need to bring your daughter home.' My mind is thinking, 'What to do?' My husband needs me, yet there's no one to look after my daughter.
I prayed and said that I don't understand. I felt lost for a while.
I brought Lexa home around 10pm, asking one of our neighbours (whom we've known for 6 years) if Lexa could spend the night because of what happened, but Lexa refused saying she wanted to sleep in the house. I then asked if I can just knock should I need help, to which the neighbour said 'of course', and I thanked her. While preparing Lexa for bed that night, I told her that her daddy will be spending a few more days in the hospital. She asked all the why's until there was no more. We then held hands to pray as we usually did before going to sleep, but this time I told her to pray more for daddy. Lexa started to pray and she prayed like she was there when it all happened; that was when I broke down and silently asked the Lord to strengthen my faith that is of a child, like my daughter. Lexa slept close to midnight, & the neighbour's 2 nieces who are in college agreed to spend the night in the house to be with Lexa while I hurried back to the hospital.
Brave little Lexa, 5, holds up her letter for daddy, whom she believes is just 'sleeping'
Thinking of last weekend to this weekend, so much had happened. My mom, with my brother, took 2 days off from teaching to come down to Manila right away, to help take care of things and look after Lexa. Family members, friends, bosses, colleagues started visiting and sending messages of prayer and comfort through texts & social media.
It may not be the best weekend to spend the time off, but still I thank the Lord that Marcus is still breathing and slowly showing signs of movement and no brain hemorrhage.
My humblest of thanks to everyone for the fervent prayer, the overwhelming support, outpouring of love and gesture of generosity. Please continue to do so.
Above all, I thank the Lord for in times such as this, He will prove that His Word is alive, true and everlasting; that He is the giver and taker of life; the great Healer; that He will provide; that nothing is impossible with Him.
For the Lord knoweth our frame, He remembers that we are dust. Praise the Lord O my soul!"
- Loren Ballozos
Mark Ballozos & Elohim Church Friends
We all met in the Philippines during the era of stiff Aquanet bangs & tapered ('baston') pants. We were all choir members, & Mark or 'Kuya' Mark (means older brother) was 1 of us, 1 of the guys, often horsing around but always ready to help with anything & everything, whether it was doing sound checks, hosting the church service, playing the guitar/drums/bass during worship, or mopping the floors. A talented composer & singer, he would later go on to win a local singing contest. He often showed us a picture of his mom, & would from time to time mention that she was in the process of petitioning for him to live with her in the US. Kuya Mark wasn't perfect & had his own share of shortcomings & insecurities -- just like us.
As life goes, we all grew up, grew older, & somehow grew apart. We each went our separate ways, made new friends, moved to other places, got married, had kids. Staying in touch wasn't smooth sailing by any means. Our differences as adults & individuals were hard to ignore, & led to resentments & unfriending each other on Facebook.
They say God works in mysterious ways. Finding out what happened to Mark brought all of us together again, & helped us remember what (or who) matters to us. Differences were set aside as we came to realize that growing up side by side in church bonded all of us together as brothers & sisters in Christ, for life -- something no amount of misunderstandings, disagreements, or years of not getting in touch could put an end to.
We know Mark neglected his health, but pray for healing & have faith that God grants second chances. We, Mark's Elohim church friends, now come to you for help. We have also extended financial help, but unfortunately, our funds are also limited. While Mark worked full time & has health insurance with his company, his medical bills have mounted & surpassed the coverage of his health insurance. His wife Loren also works full time & has sought help from PCSO (a government agency that provides medical assistance funds), but hasn't heard back from them. Mark's parents have been informed of his condition. They've made no plans to visit.
Mark is still in a coma; he & his wife are in dire need of financial help.
No amount is too small. Any amount helps.
Thank you for helping us save our friend's life.