Alfred Dalizon


May 21, 2024 Alfred P. Dalizon 122 views

TWO weeks ago, a terminally ill young girl made what could be her last wish: that is to be with her mother, brothers and sisters in their small house in Mindanao. Coming from a poor family, I learned the girl went to Manila with his father to seek free treatment from a government hospital early this year.

Good Samaritans and doctors pulled money from their own pockets to help the two survive for months. Unfortunately, the girl is suffering from a disease that cannot be cured and her doctors have given her just a few months to live.

Knowing fully well her condition, the girl wished to return to Mindanao to be with her mother, father and siblings until her last breath. Again, kind-hearted doctors and other persons who really go out of their way to perform acts of kindness to strangers helped buy airline tickets for the kid and her father.

A friend from the police force said all’s well until they reached the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with the help of an ambulance from a local government unit. This is after they learned that the airline staff won’t allow the wheelchair-bound girl to fly for so many reasons.

For many hours, the group tried but failed to get the airline company’s nod and they all sadly returned home. I learned that it was not the 1st time the airline company rejected the girl citing some policies. During their 1st try, the group waited for nearly half-a-day at the airport only to be told she won’t be allowed to fly.

After getting wind of the story, I contacted some friends at the NAIA to help the girl. One of them, PNP Aviation Security Group director, Brigadier General Christopher Abrahano immediately responded and instructed his men to give the best help they can offer to the patient and her father.

Thanks to the Good Lord, the PNP-ASG men helped secure the air travel of the two after talking with staff of the airline company. ASG men also secured the patient and the doctor accompanying her as soon as they arrive at the Mindanao airport where another government ambulance brought her home.

I learned that the problem lies on the different company doctors asking for different medical requirements and other clearances from sick patients. I won’t question their policy but something must be really done by the government to alleviate the sad plight of sick people like that terminally ill girl.

Let’s all put ourselves on the shoes of the sick girl, her father and the kind-hearted people accompanying them only to be made to wait for so many hours at the airport before being told they can’t fly due to lack of requirements.

I learned that it was not the first time that the air transport of sick persons have been cancelled after the patients and their companions waited for so many hours at the NAIA which I believe has no space for medical cases. It’s really high time for the government to take a closer look into this issue and make some adjustments.

On Tuesday, I was informed that the UP-PGH Department of Pediatrics sought a discussion with Department of Health Secretary Ted Herbosa regarding the matter at the airport. It turned out that a group of PGH doctors have started a project called KWAGO or Kalidad at Wagas na Aruga on the Go (QUAlity of life on the GO) since last year.

The KWAGO team envisions every Filipino pediatric patient to be together with their families while getting the quality of life they deserve.

The group was formed with the following mission: render compassionate and holistic care to pediatric patients and their families; learn from and collaborate with other healthcare professionals and stakeholders within the hospital and in the communities in caring for Filipino Pediatric Patients and their families; and promote self-care among healthcare providers, patients and families.

The group told Sec. Herbosa they have been “so amazed by how Filipino communities willingly offered resources and extended their help to each patient we endorsed, especially those whom we sent back home to their provinces. “ It turned out that KWAGO has been helping around 20 pediatric patients needing specialized care with the assistance of social workers, health officers, priests and barangay officials.

The group sought the assistance of the DoH in bringing holistic care which include physical, psychological, social and spiritual assistance to their patents and their families.

May these doctors’ tribe really increase.


On a personal note, my family and I are grieving the loss of a dear friend, Doctor Wally Villanueva, a noted pediatrician from De los Santos Medical Center in Quezon City. He was 65.

Doc Wally as we fondly call him finally joined His Creator after months of fighting to stay alive after being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. If we have what we call ‘Doctors to the Barrios,’ Doc Wally would easily qualify for the tag although he is not from the barrio.

He is a legend for giving free medical consultation and pediatric services to hundreds, if not thousands of kids, friends, poor neighbors and strangers in Galas, Q.C. where he and his family used to be our next-door neighbor since the early 80s. The good-looking doctor with that very friendly smile would be terribly missed by all people whose lives he touched.

Our deepest prayers and sympathies to Doc Wally’s family led by his wife Dada.