A mother in Bataraza town is seeking the help of the public for her 15-year-old daughter who wants to go back to junior high but could not due to the skin tuberculosis (TB) disease that has her arms and legs covered in wounds and abrasions.
Delia Corpuz, 38, of Barangay Marangas, Bataraza, said her only wish for Kristel Ann is “comfort” from her skin condition and to attend school again after stopping in 2013.
“Sana gumaling siya para makapag-aral siya, para makabalik siya uli sa school. Kasi gustong-gusto niya na rin talaga makapasok,” Delia said.
Delia said Kristel Ann’s skin TB symptoms manifested when she was six-years-old.
Kristel Ann had a violent seizure and her bones and joints locked. She was also unable to open her mouth.
“Kinombulsyon lang siya noon tapos dinala namin dito sa health center sa Bataraza. May ininject sa kanya para mamanmanan siya kasi nag-lock na ‘yong (buto), hindi niya na maibuka ‘yong bibig niya. May in-inject sa kanya, hindi namin alam kung ano. Pagka-inject sa kanya, namanmanan siya,” she said.
After that day, Delia brought her daughter to Brooke’s Point where the doctor told them that Kristel Ann has blood infection and amoeba.
After a week in the hospital, they noticed that her tongue got white and had wounds.
“Pagkaputi ng dila niya, nagkaroon ng sugat hanggang sa loob ng bibig niya. Nagkaroon siya ng pigsa sa loob ng bibig at ‘yon nagdire-diretso. Noong gumaling ‘yong sa bibig niya, pagkatapos ng dalawang buwan, nagkaroon naman siya ng sugat sa paa,” she said.
Delia said that every time they bring Kristel Ann to the hospital, most of the specialists would tell them she has blood infection.
But in the health center, a doctor called her to check Kristel Ann.
They found out later that she has skin tuberculosis.
The doctor told Delia that if only Kristel Ann’s condition was diagnosed earlier, her condition could have been helped.
“Nagulat ako kasi lagi naman ako sa hospital, nalibot na namin lahat tapos ang findings lang nila ay ganoon lang, infection sa dugo, sa Puerto (Princesa) ganoon din,” she said.
She said she pities her daughter seeing that she could hardly eat. Delia said Kristel Ann only takes water to hydrate herself.
“Kung minsan dalawang linggo, talagang nagkakaroon siya ng singaw. Nagsusugat ‘yong dila niya tapos kapag nagkaroon na siya ng ganoon ay hindi na siya kumakain,” she said.
She said that the health center provides medicine for Kristel Ann’s condition, however, it had already ran out of stock.
A social worker, Agnes Etchinique, posted Kristel Ann’s condition on Facebook on November 13.
This attracted engagement and reactions from netizens.
Agnes was visiting every household as part of her job as an enumerator under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) when she noticed Kristel Ann’s skin.
Delia said she was out in the field when Agnes visited their house.
She said the photos Agnes posted could be considered better compared to her previous state.
“Ang pinakamalala niya ay ‘yong sa paa niya, muntik na maputol. Lumiit na ‘yong paa niya na isa, tabingi na. Sa ngayon humilom na ‘yong sa paa pero ‘yong sa kamay niya, ‘yon ang mayroong sugat. Kapag tinatanong ko kung masakit ang sugat niya, sabi niya hindi naman. Ang iniinda niya sa akin parati ay ang tiyan at singaw niya ay masakit,” she said.
Delia said Kristel had already tried not to eat for about a month and only takes water. Kristel only stays inside their house due to her condition and even stopped going to school when she was in third grade.
Kristel Ann who is Delia’s third child dreams to return to school and be a nurse someday.
Delia was advised that the continuous intake of medicine from the health center’s supply would make Kristel’s condition even better.
“Malapit na [akong panghinaan ng loob], kung minsan nga ay iniiyakan ko na. Minsan nagsasabi na siya sa akin na hirap na raw siya. Lalo na noong grabeng ano niya… akala ko mamamatay na, dinala na namin sa ospital halos hindi siya noon makasalita,” she said.
A doctor in Puerto Princesa told Delia that Kristel must be brought to Manila for her treatment.
“Sabi ng doctor na nag-ano sa kanya ay dapat daw sa Maynila kaso wala naman kami kakilala sa Maynila. Kaya hindi rin kami makapunta-punta. Hindi ko nga alam, sabi ng doctor baka hindi niya pa kakayanin ng opera kasi grabeng payat niya. Dapat daw sana ay pagalingin muna ang sugat niya at magkalaman-laman siya,” she said.
She said that those who want to extend their help in any possible means might contact Agnes or through cellular phone numbers: 0945-257-0697 and 0948-838-7268.