For almost seven months now, 10-year-old Frank Martin Berol has been admitted at the Western Visayas State University Medical Center due to a serious brain tumor and his mother – though struggling to make ends meet – is still fighting for him.
This Mother’s Day, 37-year-old mom Anna Marie Berol, a resident of Passi City, Iloilo, is knocking on people’s hearts seeking help for her beloved son.
“Mangayo ako tani bulig bskan bakal nalang bulong ka bata ko kag inug bayad sa amun hospital bill kay kadako na gid balaydan namun. Seven months na kami sa intensive care unit (ICU), daw wala na ako ka balo kung diin ko ni kuhaon ang i-bayad namon,” said Berol, a housewife who earns a small income through her sari-sari store, married to a bus driver.
After almost seven months of confinement at the WVSU-MC and four surgical procedures, Anna Marie estimates that their hospital bill has reached almost P700,000 already.
“Sa subong ga problema gid ako sang pang-adlaw-adlaw namon, bulong ya, may mga kabataan pa ako nga nabilin didto sa Passi sa subong. Sa bulong palang namon galab-ot mga P3,000 to P4,000 na kada adlaw,” she told Panay News.
Frank Marin Berol was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October last year.
According to Anna Marie, Frank Martin first started suffering stomachaches and was vomiting everything he tried to eat.
Berol and her husband brought Frank to a doctor for consultation, the doctor recommended an ultra-sound, with which they found out that he had intestinal worms. Her son was admitted for a week but still suffered the same symptoms when they went home.
Again, Anna Marie brought her son to a private doctor who ran all the necessary tests but the results were all unclear.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan was recommended, finally shedding a light on the cause of Frank’s sickness: they found a mass pressing against his brain which meant he had to be taken to the ICU of the WVSU-MC immediately.
As of writing, Frank Martin Berol is still admitted at the Intesive Care Unit of the Western Visayas State University Medical Center.
“Ang first nga procedure was gin-butangan sya [ventriculoperitoneal] shunt sa sulod sang iya ulo [to relieve ang pressure sa iya brain],” Anna Marie explained.
However, the first surgical procedure did little to better Frank’s condition, after a week he started to have seizures requiring to have the shunt transferred from inside his brain to outside.
The doctors then recommended to have Frank undergo his third surgical operation which was the removal of the mass. Anna Marie prayed and decided to have her son’s mass removed.
“Gin-kuha daw ang mass, pero by the end of the day wala man gali [sing doctos] nakuha. Nagkuha nalang sila specimen kag amo to ginpa-biopsy. Nag-start naman siya seizure liwat so gin kakas naman ang tubo kag saylo naman san lain nga location amo na ina ang ika-apat na procedure gin-ubra sa iya,” Anna Marie told Panay News.
The result of the biopsy showed that the mass was not cancerous. It was benign, but the mass continued to increase in size.
“Ang mass na ina kuno nag-block sa passage sang fluid sa brain ya, kung indi ina kuno ma kuha may possibilidad nga ma-lumos ang brain kag madula nalang sya sa amon, pero ang hambal nila indi man kuno pwde makuha ang mass kay naga-tapik gid siya sa part sing brain, if kakson may mga ugat nga madala kag risky kuno ang procedure,” Ann Marie said.
According to her the shunt is only a temporary relief for Frank’s condition, not the cure and it brings no assurance for him to survive the illness.
“Isa sa mga challenge ang pag-pangita sang kwarta para ma-cope up lang ang kinanlan namun, mapa-kaon ko ang nabilin ko nga mga bata, mabaklan ko bulong si Frank. Ginhawa ko man ka pangita. Gapuli-puli ako sa Passi, pero kung ari diri bana ko siya naman ga bantay ako naman to gapangita paagi nga maka –kwarta. Nag-ubra ako ka box, para ma sudlan ka donation kag palibot pangayo bulig – sa eskwelahan gapangayo ako bulig, gahatag man sila, mga kilala sang bana ko ara man gahatag man sang bulig nila pero indi enough. Kadako gid ya sa kinanlan para matustusan ko lng kinanlan ni Frank,” Anna Marie said.
Anne Marie is the mother of five children – two girls and three boys. Frank is her 4th child.
“Ang akon lang ma-message sa mga nanay nga parehas sa akon kag may amo man ni nga experience, dapat mag-strong kamo kag indi ma dulaan sang pagtoo sa Diyos.”
“Samtang masarang niyo pa, ipakita mo gid sa mga kabataan mo nga palangga mo sila. Himuon mo gid ang tanan para sa ila, ano lang ayhan ka sakit sa balatyagon kung madulaan ikaw sa isa ka anak bilang nanay – maging strong lang kita,” Anna Maria shared her message to her fellow moms on Mother’s Day.
Keep on fighting Anna Marie and Frank Martin!/PN