Dexter, 25 years old, afflicted with Buerger's disease is seeking medical assistance and financial support

Suzette Carceler is a mother in desperate need of help to save a son afflicted with Buerger’s disease, a rare affliction that destroys the arteries in the arms and legs.

Suzette told Palawan News that changes in their life arose three months after her eldest son, Dexter, returned from Mindoro in 2018. Dexter, 25, had completed his agricultural degree and worked for a few months as a construction worker.

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“Akala ko noong una, natapilok lang sa basketball. Sa katagalan na pinapagamot ko, iyon pala ay may sugat na ‘yong hinliliit niya sa kaliwa. Kaunting butlig ‘yon tapos katagalan, pagkaraan ng ilang buwan ay nagkasugat na siya at nangitim na,” she said.

She took her son from Barangay Tagumpay, Roxas to Puerto Princesa for an examination, and he was diagnosed with Buerger’s disease.

According to the World Health Organization, Buerger’s disease which is also known as thromboangitis obliterans, is an inflammation of arteries, veins, and nerves in the legs, leading to restricted blood flow. It can lead to gangrene or death of body tissue and amputation of the affected areas if left untreated.

Dexter underwent an operation where the affected toe on his left foot was removed. In 2019, the same situation happened on his right foot.

“Sa sumunod na naman na taon (2020), ito naman na hinlalaki niya sa kanan. Ang pangalawa (2019), pinaoperahan namin sa Coop (Hospital). Noong natanggal na, sunod na taon ay bumalik na naman sa hinlalaki. Dinala ko ngayon sa ONP (Ospital ng Palawan) kasi wala na kami pangpagamot. Ang sabi ng doctor ay putulin na raw ‘yong paa niya kasi barado na ang ugat,” she said.

“Hanggang natanggal na lang ‘yong hinlalaki niya at nagkahawa-hawa na. Nangitim na mga daliri niya sa paa, umakyat na sa taas. Namatay na ‘yong mga daliri niya, tuyong-tuyo na siya,” she added.

Dexter initially refused to have his leg amputated. However, his condition deteriorated, and the surgery was postponed until July of this year. At the Ospital ng Palawan (ONP), his left leg was finally amputated.

Suzette said her family had already spent over P100,000 on Dexter’s medicine and had even sold some of their possessions. They have very limited means — her husband works in a rice field, while she remains at home and raises livestock to supplement their income.

“Masakit na makita ‘yong anak mo na ganon kasi sabi niya nga noon na ayaw niya magpaputol kasi hindi na siya makatrabaho. Sabi ko, kapag hindi mo naman ‘yan ipaputol ay mas kakalat ‘yan. Sabi ng doctor na kapag umakyat na sa puso ‘yong baradong ugat ay baka ikamatay niya. Baon na baon na rin kami sa utang,” she said.

She is now seeking assistance from people who may be able to help them in paying the outstanding amount of P36,000 at the hospital after the amputation. She said she had previously visited most of their town’s government offices to seek cash help but to no avail.

“Sabi kasi ng doctor na ‘yong baradong (ugat) ay nakaabot na sa tiyan niya. Tinanong ko ‘yong doctor kung makakaya pa ba ng gamot iyan, sabi niya makakaya pa naman dahil bata pa rin siya. Sabi ng social worker ay sila ang lalapit sa office ni Congressman pero ang problema, hanggang ngayon hindi ko alam kung nag-reply na,” she said.

After the amputation, Dexter will have to wait for six months before he can have a prosthetic leg and they still need to raise P35,000 for it.

“Sabi ko nga sa kaniya, kapag may P35,000 ka, may paa pero kung wala, walang paa. Iyon talaga ang hinahabol niya, ang magkapaa,” she added.

Interested individuals who would like to extend financial support may send through the GCash account of Shimron Aranjuez- 09072050446.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.