Let him be should widower Romeo Garcia of Lepanto Mines, Benguet start hurling unanswered questions to the sky. It’s a common reaction of people who, like him, are drenched to bone when misfortune pours.
The mine worker recently buried his wife Jane (nee Lamlamag) who succumbed to kidney failure after the couple could no longer foot the bill for her twice-a-week hemodialysis session at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.
Jane just asked her husband to bring her home to Lepanto, Mankayan, Benguet where they met and married. As she wished, he brought her for burial in Bauko, Mt. Province where she was born.
Jane was 34. She left to Romeo their two ailing daughters – three-year old Cathy Sy, who is suffering from epilepsy, and six-year old Princess Arcia, who is undergoing prolonged treatment for leukemia or cancer of the blood.
After his wife’s burial, Romeo was confined at the Notre Dame de Lourdes Hospital. That’s when the doctors told him of another heart-breaker – his own kidneys were failing.
Notwithstanding the costs (P2,200 per session), Romeo has been on twice a week hemodialysis since first week of April at the Cordillera Kidney Specialists along Kisad Rd. at 9 a.m. on Mondays and at the Baguio General Hospital at 3 p.m. on Fridays.
“My dialysis schedule gets in the way of my employment with Lepanto and I don’t know how the mining company would treat my case as I need to be here in Baguio where the hospital is so I could still see my children,” he said while waiting for his turn at the BGHMC.
Dialysis is temporarily done through a slit on the vein in the neck. Three attempts at creating a more permanent fistula on his hands failed. To prevent infection, doctors will soon have consider hooking him on the inguinal area.
When former world karate champion Julian Chees learned of the miner’s plight, he sent, from his base in Germany, 200 euros as support.
“I remember growing up in Lepanto and I hope people who read your article on the patient, especially those who trace their roots to the mine, would extend their support to him,” Chees said.
Those who can help Romeo answer eternal questions he has been hurling up the blue yonder may ring up his cell phone number – 09480982437.They may visit him during his dialysis schedule or leave their support with the staff of the two dialysis centers. /Ramon Dacawi#