Plea from a mother

After the accident in 2019, Jeff avoids sitting for a longer time and always bends his neck due to the pain he feels. | Photos from John Erick Fuentes

A mother’s hardest struggle is to see her child suffering and realize she in unable to help due to poverty. 

Rosalinda Baluyot, mother and grandmother at 62, is still attending to the needs of her son who suffers from an undiagnosed condition following an accident in 2019. 

Jeff, suffering from an undiagnosed condition following an accident in 2019.

Her son, Jeff who was juggling his time doing odd jobs in Manila to pursue his nursing degree met an unfortunate event that will change his life.  Jeff visited his mother back in Barangay Maytegued, Taytay after working for two years. While staying for vacation, he also used his free time to earn extra money as a patient attendant to his close friend’s mother. 

Rosalinda said her son was not used to doing heavy chores, but when he accepted the job to help his friend, he would carry an oxygen tank on his back while at the hospital. 

“Dinalaw niya lang ako rito pero pagdating dito, may nakiusap sa kaniya, isang kaibigan niya na nag-alok sa kaniya ng trabaho na magbantay sa mother niya. Ang mother niya kasi ay may sakit, itong aking anak na si Jeff ay napakiusapan niya na kung puwede muna mag-alaga sa nanay niya,” she said. 

“Noong nandoon na sa ospital, siya ‘yong nagbabantay sa nanay [ng kaibigan] niya. Nagbuhat siya ng oxygen [tank], pagkabuhat niya noon, mabigat man ‘yon, may lumagitik sa ugat niya bandang balikat papuntang leeg. Naligo siya nong kinagabihan, noong kinabukasan parang nagmanhid na at kumirot-kirot na,” she added. 

After that, Rosalinda said Jeff felt something in his veins that made his body numb. Due to lack of money to see a specialist in Puerto Princesa, Jeff’s physical condition slowly deteriorated — he could no longer hold his neck straight and stays in bed most of the time to avoid being sore when he’s sitting.

Jeff can walk, however, his bent neck would give him problems in walking properly.

 “Unti-unti na bumabali-bali ‘yong leeg at saka namamanhid. Hindi na siya masyadong nakakaupo, nakahiga na lang siya. Kasi kapag umupo siya, hindi rin siya makakatagal, sabi niya nangangawit daw siya. Nakakalakad din siya pero ang problema ang leeg niya ay hindi niya madiretso, ang ulo niya bumabali,” she said. 

“Kapag gusto mag-lock ng bibig niya, nanghihingi siya sa akin ng damit o kaya basahan na malinis, kakagatin niya. Minsan naman parang mauutal siya kaya kapag nagsasalita siya kaya minsan ay malabo,” she added. 

Rosalinda has three children, and Jeff is the youngest. To pursue his dreams, he worked in a salon in Manila for two years to support his mother and even a niece from one of his siblings who died due to heart attack.  

Struggle of a mother 
Rosalinda said life has become difficult for them, especially because she has no one to depend on when it comes to getting Jeff the medicines he needs. At her age, she said she is already struggling to make ends meet.

In December 2020, Rosalinda said they lost their dilapidated house and had to turn for help from a family that was kind enough to offer them a place where they could stay. It was three kilometers away from the barrio and three kilometers more from the town proper of Taytay.

To save money, she walks her way to the barrio to get what they need.

“Pagkagising ko sa umaga, asikasuhin ko na siya. Lilinisin ko siya, pagkatapos maghahanap ako ng pangangailangan sa bahay. Pag-uwi ko, siya pa rin ang aasikasuhin ko. Iyong tinitirhan namin na bahay, binibigyan na lang kami ng bigas, kape pero siyempre hindi lahat ng araw may maibibigay sila sa amin. Hahanapin ko rin para sa apo ko. Napakahirap ng kalagayan ko, ako ang nanay at tatay,” she said. 

Medical assistance 
Rosalinda said Jeff needs to undergo a CT scan to determine what’s troubling him physically and to see a specialist so he could be helped, but this is hard as she does not know where to get the money they need.

“Sabi nga rin ni doktor baka nga siya ay mahawaan ng (COVID-19) dahil kung ang katawan niya ay mahina, walang resistensya kaya iniingatan din siya. Kailangan bago siya madala sa pagamutan ay maingatan siya,” she said. 

“Kung sino ang puwede pong tumulong sa anak ko, humihingi ako ng awa sa inyo. Dahil gusto ko mapatingnan ang anak ko sa espesyalista, matagal na siyang may sakit. Wala rin ako magawa dahil wala rin akong trabaho at may edad na rin ako. Humihingi ako ng tulong na sana ay maawa naman kayo sa anak ko,” she added. 

Interested individuals who would like to assist by giving any amount may coordinate through Brgy. Maytegued captain Felix “Ely” Talamayan at 09502461580 or John Erick Fuentes’ GCash Account 09954497022.

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