August 15, 2014 1:42pm
A Filipino couple based in the United Arab Emirates is seeking help to fund a liver transplant for their eight-month-old baby boy.
Baby Ivan Burlaos is confined at the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City due to biliary atresia, a rare condition where he was born without a gallbladder or bile ducts.
“With the cost of liver transplant often exceeding P5 million, many of the families like Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Burlaos are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such procedure,” said an entry on a fundraising page for Baby Ivan’s operation on Facebook.
For now, Baby Ivan remains cheerful and active, but has to take the following medication including:
– Ursodeoxycholic acid (Ursodiol), used in reduction of liver biochemistry, reduce jaundice and ascites
– Prednisolone oral, an immunosuppressive drug for organ transplant patients
– Vitamin ADEK for daily repair of body cells
– antibiotic Piperacillin-Tazobactam to treat bacterial infections given thru IV injection q6H daily
– a daily Albumin given IV to help regulate osmotic pressure of plasma
– Nystatin oral suspension to treat oral candidiasis in the oral cavity.
UAE-based news site Filipino Times reported Baby Ivan’s parents are based in Abu Dhabi, and work as a storekeeper and a dental assistant.
“Baby Ivan now needs a liver transplant as soon as possible. However, he is not able to undergo surgery because of financial issues,” said his mother Fatima Devi Reverente, a dental assistant.
She said they need Dh400,000 (about P4.758 million) for the expenses in the procedure. This does not include air fare, accommodation and post-surgery treatments and medication.
Yet, Reverente said they have raised only Dh30,000 (P355,893) from family, colleagues, friends, bank and personal loans, and savings.
For its part, the Philippine Embassy gave them an endorsement letter for solicitation purposes.
Philippine Ambassador Grace Princesa told The Filipino Times her office could not provide direct financial assistance. “We are not allowed to do that, so what I did was refer her to Bayanihan,” she said.
For its part, the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) International Service Fraternity where she and her husband are members created a Facebook page “Be a Hero for Baby Ivan.”
The Facebook page allows people to contribute by ordering T-shirts.
A separate report on Gulf News said the shirts were initially sold at Dh25 each, but their quality was improved and they now sell for Dh50 each.
Gulf News quoted Fatima as saying Ivan was born Nov. 29 last year. —Joel Locsin/KBK, GMA News