AT least 300 minors will ‘cheat’ possible death and as a bonus, will be able to play, study and spend birthdays like ordinary normal children after expenses for their surgery were assured to be shouldered by the 1PACMAN Party-list on Thursday, December 16.
Together with their parents and guardians the 250-300 children who were born with congenital heart defect (CHD) gathered in person and via zoom as they received 1PACMAN Partylist certificates guaranteeing their hospitalization expenses to fix the health issues that came with their birth.
They comprise the new batch of beneficiaries of the “Save A Child’s Heart Project” initiated in 2017 by Deputy Speaker Michael “Mikee” A. Romero and Rep. Enrico “Eric” Pineda, representatives of 1PACMAN Partylist.
With the help fo the Philippine Heart Center, the partylist group has so far saved the lives of 1,250 children who underwent surgery at the PHC using the allocation for medical program of Romero and Pineda.
Romero admitted that they both shelled out personal money to keep the project going amid the huge medical expenses needed to finance the expensive surgical procedure of the children.
“It’s a different feeling seeing these children smile again and knowing that they will lead a normal kid’s life. Parents have been profuse with gratitude for what we have done but all I ask them in return is to pray that we may save the lives of more children with CHD,” said Romero.
Pineda, chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, disclosed that some of the children who received the 1PACMAN certificate were scheduled for surgery after Christmas Day and immediately after the celebration of the new year.
He explained that such heart operations are urgent.
‘ “Almost all of our beneficiaries come from poor families, who were made even poorer because of the economic effects of the pandemic,” said Pineda.
Two-month-old Kim Madison Magno, daughter of a restaurant waiter and a homemaker, must undergo surgery on December 27. Her operation was originally scheduled last November but was cancelled after she tested positive for COVID-19.
“Ngayon po, nasagot na ang panalangin namin na sana matuloy na ang operasyon, kailangang-kailangan po ito para mailigtas ang buhay niya. (Finally, our prayers for her surgery have been answer, this is really urgent in order to save her life),” said mom Krizel Magno.
Leah Resurrecion of San Mateo, Rizal said they discovered their son, Dan Bryan, had CHD while he was still in her womb, at around five months old.
Her doctor had suspected something was wrong with the baby’s heart during a pre-natal examination. An ‘anomaly scan” was ordered by the doctor and discovered that the boy was indeed positive for a serious heart issue.
“Kinailangan po namin ng P600,000 para sa tatlong operasyon, kaya pagkapangak ko nag-fund raising na kami agad. Itinuro siguro ng Diyos ang website ng 1PACMAN at nadiskubre namin ang ganitong tulong nina Cong. Romero.(We needed P600,000 for three surgeries, so we immediately raised funds as soon as I gave birth to him. God may have led us to the 1PACMAN website that we were able to discover this kind of assistance of Cong. Romero.)” said Leah.
Romero recalled that they initiated the project in 2017 after he was invited to a Rotary Club meeting and was asked to donate for a child who needed an immediate life-saving operation.
After shelling out P50,000 as his donation, Romero conducted a study on the CHD problem among Filipino children and found that the lives of thousands of minors are in peril because of the heart disease.