A life-time of hemodialysis continues to financially squeeze patients and their families dry, leading them and their distraught kin to hurling unanswered questions to the sky.
At their wits’ end over how to check complications from their common affliction, two patients and their relatives last week requested publication of their plight, praying readers would respond to their appeal for help.
For Samaritans wanting to flesh out the spirit of sharing as the radio begins spinning the carols of the upcoming season , two patients are just a call away: Guigeon Falingchan Tumingeb, 39 and going blind, and Marcelino Salvador, 53 and whose arm veins needed for dialysis are being obstructed and in danger of being totally occluded and useless.
Tumingeb, a native of Tocucan, Bontoc, Mt. Province and father of two, was told he would need about P20,000 to remove a cataract that has dimmed his vision for sometime now.
“We have nowhere to go for help, having exhausted the kindness of friends and kin over the years that my husband could not work because of his ailment,” Guigeon’s wife Vanessa, 40, said.
Over the years, Vanessa had knocked on the doors of government officials and agencies in Northern Luzon for help. Such sacrifice enabled her husband to survive since his ailment was diagnosed in 2007.
Like many other such cases, Guigeon, unable to accept his illness, delayed undergoing dialysis which, his wife remembered , started in 2012.
“He will have completed five years of surviving on dialysis this coming January,” Vanessa said as if it would be a joyous anniversary of sorts.
They have gone this far in a continuing struggle to keep the family whole.
Vanessa said Guigeon needs to have his sight saved so he can continue seeing his children – Shydel, 17, and Eduard Shem, 15 – grow.
Over in La Trinidad, Benguet, Marcelino’s wife Martina, is also at a loss on how to raise P20,000 for an operation to save his arm veins which are in danger of being occluded, threatening disuse of the “fistula” that was created on the arm to allow the cleansing of the patient’s blood through dialysis.
Closure of the veins now threatened by clogging would mean another operation to create another fistula to enable the patient to continue dialysis.
Salvador, father of three sons and a daughter, has been on dialysis since April last year after he was diagnosed for Stage 5 kidney failure.
“The family’s only source of income is from the daily wage of Martina as a farm laborer in Buguias, Benguet,” noted social worker Melanie Sahoy of La Benguet.
Marcelino, a carpenter sidelined by his illness, traces his roots to Tadian, Mt. Province and Kibungan, Benguet, while his wife is a native of Bekes, Taneg, Mankayan, Benguet.
People who want to reach out to Tumingeb may ring up cellphone number 09099692481 while those who can extend support to Marcelino can call up his wife’s cellphone number 09292957111.
By Ramon Dacawi.