Filtered By: News

10-year-old UAE-based Pinoy with rare heart defect to undergo operation in India

A 10-year-old Filipino boy with a rare congenital heart defect is heading for India to undergo an operation, after a foundation offered to sponsor the procedure.

Gil Merced and his parents will travel to Kochi for the operation, according to a report on UAE news site Khaleej Times on Sunday.

The report said Aster DM Healthcare chairman and Dr Moopen’s Foundation founder Dr. Azad Moopen offered to bear the expenses for the life-saving surgery at Aster Medcity.

Aster Medcity chief pediatric cardiac surgeon Dr. Sajan Koshy will conduct the operation while Dr. T.M. Jaison, specialist cardiologist at the Aster Jubilee medical complex in Dubai, will provide follow-up care.

Teleconferencing links between India and Dubai will help in post-operation care.

Merced suffers from Tetralogy of Fallot, a condition that causes the oxygen level to drop and breathing difficulty.

Earlier, Khaleej Times quoted the boy's mother Mercedita as saying the condition causes him to become "very weak" and lose consciousness.

The boy's parents could not raise the money needed for the operation. Mercedita, 52, works as a teaching assistant in Dubai, with a salary of just Dh2,250 (P26,536).

His father used to work in Dubai but the company he worked with was sold, and he had to leave the UAE after losing his job.

Gil's two elder brothers work as janitors have meager incomes as well.

Presently, the family shares a room in Satwa, and the church they attend, St Mary’s parish church in Oud Metha, tried to help them. Church volunteer Susan Jose brought the case to Khaleej Times, which helped seek financial assistance from readers.

It was not the first time Dr. Moopen has offered to sponsor an operation for a young Filipino. He had done so for 50 children from underprivileged families in the Philippines via his foundation's “Healing Touch” program.

So far, 19 operations have been conducted successfully, the Khaleej Times report said. — Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News