From a simple toothache because of a wisdom tooth in 2018, La Verne Artajo did not think it possible that he will be diagnosed with a tumor that is steadily growing on the right side of his face.
His mother Magda said they thought that her 22-year-old son will get better because he was prescribed medicines that he is continuously taking after a series of doctor visits. Later, however, they were told that he needs to undergo surgery to remove the tumor.
“Nakita sa gilagid ni La Verne na ang wisdom tooth ay tumubo doon sa loob ng gilagid pero hindi sa daan na lalabasan, 2018 iyan kasi hindi siya nakapasok,” Magda said.
La Verne was a mass communications student who was forced to stop attending school because of his condition, his mother said. Despite this, he strived and managed to complete his course in 2019.
Back then, Magda said La Verne’s tumor was not noticeable. But this year in March, the swelling on his face took a turn for the worse, with discharges already coming out.
“After graduation, akala namin unti-unti nang magbabago, mawawala [na] kasi tuloy-tuloy ang pag-inom niya ng gamot, napatingnan ko rin kahit papaano. Umaasa naman ako na okay na ‘yon. Umiwas sa mga bawal na sinasabi, bumagsak ang katawan niya dahil maraming iniiwasan na pagkain, sabi niya parang walang nangyayari,” she said.
“Nag-succeed yong huling operation kaso ang problema, may bukol pa rin pagkalabas niya ng operating room. Pagkalabas, pa-check-up lagi sa doctor, weekly ang bayad, nagtataka ako bakit walang nangyayari. Ooperahan na naman daw uli. Hindi na ako pumayag kasi pasukan na. Nakapag-aral siya, naka-graduate siya,” Magda added.
Magda said they were supposed to see a specialist in Narra but due to the pandemic threat, quarantine controls were enforced and prevented them from traveling.
Magda, a local singer and performer, also lost her income source, making the situation even harder for their family.
“Noong nagsimula ‘yan parang may pigsa ‘yan na lumabas, natuwa naman ako na lumabas ang nana. [Ang] kaso noong nag-lockdown, nag-diretso na hanggang sa pumutok na sa pisngi niya. Ang hirap din pumunta sa doctor dahil lockdown,” she said.
When the quarantine control relaxed, Magda said she brought La Verne for a check-up and borrowed P8,000 for the CT scan. The doctor told them that the condition of her son is “urgent and the bone on his jaw needs to be removed immediately”.
“Pumunta na ako sa iba-ibang politician dito, ang sabi sa akin, kapag natapos na ang operation saka sila makakatulong sa bill. Kaso kailangan na ang deposit kasi ‘yon ang kailangan ng ospital, sabi ng doctor, kahit nakaipon na sila sa operating room, kung hindi pa ako naka-deposit at na-approve ng hospital, hindi matutuloy ang operation,” she said.
Magda said that she is in a rush to collect the needed money even for the deposit to immediately start the operation as the condition will get worse during the pandemic. The doctor even warned her that the tumor in his bone might develop into another problem if it will not be removed sooner.
“Saan namin dadamputin iyon, sabi ko hindi ka mapapagaling, antayin na lang kita sa kama diyan na nakikita kita na wala ka nang kahihinatnan? Hindi naman ‘yon puwede bilang magulang,” she said.
“Sa mga kaibigan, kakilala at sa mga may sobrang blessing, alam ko sa panahon ngayon ay talagang tag-hirap pero sa isang magulang, hindi ko kayang tiisin ang anak ko. Gagawa ka ng paraan para sa kaligtasan niya. Bakit sa anak ko nangyari ito? Si La Verne ang daming pangarap. Meron pa nagsabi na baka hindi totoo, baka modus, sabi ko imo-modus mo pa ba ang ganitong sitwasyon ngayon?” she said.
Those who are willing to extend financial support could reach her number at 09127827716 or through her Facebook account Magda Artajo. She said she is willing to see them personally if they cannot find their house in Barangay San Jose.