Marlon and his father were traveling home on Marlon’s motorcycle, and had stopped at the traffic light, as it was showing red. As soon as it turned green, Marlon drove away from the light as normal, but unfortunately a truck which was approaching from the right failed to stop – clearly an error on the part of the truck driver, which he admitted. In the resulting accident, although Marlon escaped with scrapes and bruises, his father suffered major injuries to his feet and left leg, as the truck had run over them.
The truck driver, acting on instructions from his employer, attempted to back up, and finish the victim off!
This is standard practice in this country, ( the Philippines), as it is far cheaper to pay for a burial than for prolonged hospital treatment and medication. The attempt was thwarted however by angry motorists who had witnessed the accident.
Two operations were quickly performed on the father, leaving him in the condition shown in the picture below.
It was fortunate that the surgeons were able to rebuild the feet, rather than amputate. The driver’s company shouldered the expenses, but made their reluctance obvious by being as difficult as possible. When the family presented prescriptions for payment early in the morning, the money for them was not made available till late that night – effectively making it almost impossible to treat the patient correctly.
The father, conscious of the ever-increasing hospital bill, expressed a desire to return home. The doctors agreed, as there would be a waiting period for healing before the next operations could take place, but with the proviso that someone was able to correctly dress the wounds 3 times a day. This task fell to the eldest daughter, who was taught how to do it correctly by one of the doctors.
The truck driver’s company, on learning that the patient would be leaving hospital, insisted that their responsibility for payment would be terminated, and forced the family to sign a waiver over further claims.
This was a difficult decision for the family! Having a patient in hospital is a total upheaval to family life in this country, and is to be avoided where at all possible. On the other hand, they would lose the financial support from the company’s insurance if they took him home. As the next operation was scheduled for some 3 months hence, they decided to take the chance. The hope was that in the interim, enough money could be found to shoulder the costs of treatment themselves. However, the cost of medication during the recuperation period is proving far too high to allow any money to be saved, and the situation is becoming dire.
One of the reasons for this is the lack of some medicines in the local pharmacy. When this occurs, and it does too often, the hunt is on. This involves traveling to the nearest city, San Fernando, to buy the medicine there. If they should also have no stock, the next move is to Angeles in the hope that something can be found. This all involves extra cost, and inordinate amounts of time. The eldest daughter undertakes this task too, as she is the only person authorised to purchase medicine at old-age pensioner’s discount on behalf of her father. She is an amazingly dedicated lady, but the effort is taking its toll on her too. And of course, while she is attending to her father’s needs, she is unable to earn her own money as she normally would.
In addition to the above, doctor’s checkups are required periodically, which requires special arrangements for transportation to the hospital, and back home again.
Although the father’s right foot is healing well, the left leg still presents major problems. It is clear from the latest Xray picture that both bones in the lower leg are misaligned, and will have no chance to knit together until this is corrected. In addition to the operation to reset the bones, an interim operation is required to remove the framework for cleaning, then replace it. This is required to prevent infection. In addition to that, a skin graft is required to one foot.
I have been friends with this family for some years now, and support them as best I can, However, I have only a small pension, and my resources are no match for the magnitude of this task. This is why I am asking you, the reader, to
a) donate whatever you can afford to help these people, and
b) spread the word as widely as you can to give us the best chance of success.
The doctors’ estimate for the remaining treatment is P150,000. This is an impossible sum of money for this family alone. If it cannot be found, the father’s only recourse would be to let his left leg be amputated below the knee. This is the sort of hard choice that people sometimes have to make in this country.
Will you help us, please? Can we save this man’s leg?
Any contribution you can manage would be gratefully accepted. The web page set up for donations is:-
Please visit this site, and make whatever contribution you can. It would also be of great help if you could spread the word so that we reach as many people as possible.