Help Papa Alex with his Angioplasty

Hi! I am MJ Mercado, eldest son of Alexander Francis M. Mercado. In behalf of my family, I am appealing to your generous and compassionate hearts to extend your blessings to us.

Current Medical Condition
My father is currently confined in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) of the Metropolitan Medical Center, located at Masangkay St. Tondo, Manila, Philippines. He was transferred there from a Government Hospital due to his unique case in which his blood pressure drops to 70/50 (Normal range=120/80) but his heart rate jumps up to 200 beats per min (Normal range=60-80 when at rest). His working diagnosis from the first hospital was Tachyarrythmia to consider ACS (Acute Coronary Syndrome) however, in the institution where he is currently confined the initial diagnosis was AF RVR (Atrial Fibrillation with Rapid Ventricular Response).

We initially rushed him to the emergency room (ER) of Las Pinas General Hospital last September 1, 2013 (Sunday) due to his complaint of feeling nauseous, cold and clammy skin, and racing heart beat but very low blood pressure. We first thought that he just went hypoglycemic (a state when the blood sugar level drops below normal range of 70-110mg/dL) due to his cold and clammy skin but he was diagnosed there of tachyarrythmia to consider ACS. Due to his unstable condition, he was recommended to be admitted for the close monitoring of his vital signs and any abnormality in his ECG Tracings. Papa was hospitalized in that institution for 6 days with tachyarrythmic episodes especially when defecating and witnessing the death of a co-patient in the same room. September 6, 2013 (Friday), he had another bout of tachyarrythmia but this time the cardiologist who had attended to his care recommended for his transfer to the base hospital of the cardiologist who has managed his case for the last 3 years, right after he suffered Embolic Stroke.

Not waiting any longer, we decided to seek help from the private hospital (Metropolitan Medical Center) in high hopes of getting a better treatment plan and a clearer picture of Papa's medical status. When we arrived in Metropolitan, Papa's mood has lightened up and he seemed to feel better but his vital signs were still erratic. Actually, last September 9, 2013 (Monday), 9am Philippine time, Mama was reading a book, Kape't Pandasal by Luis Cardinal Tagle, after a few lines she was shocked to see Papa going stiff, clutching his linens and his jaws tightening as if he's going in so much pain; his heart rate went up to 100bpm then suddenly to nothing - no heart rate, no oxygen saturation level, no respiratory rate, his stare went blank and everyone else rushed to rescue him. One ICU Nurse pumped his heart twice to massage his heart and with the doctor's order, they restarted his heart through the defibrillator machine.

Fortunately, he was awakened right after and was asking for the whereabouts of Mama. He continued on saying that he dreamt of being electrocuted and that there was a tingling sensation in his chest. There were several delays in his reflexes but the resident doctors explained that this may have been manifestations of the sudden lack of oxygen supply to the brain and that these symptoms shall pass out eventually. Today, September 11, 2013 (Wednesday) he's been showing exemplary vital signs that makes us all hopeful of the days to come. If his heart rate stabilizes, his cardiologist recommends for him to undergo Angiogram to determine the extent of the damaged parts of his heart and its vessels. This procedure is just a diagnostic examination and it will just provide us with the different possible treatment plans for him. His doctor said that if the vessels can be ballooned (Angioplasty), then it would be better since there'd be no wound but if worse comes to worse, he might undergo Open Heart Surgery. The aforementioned procedures are all costly because the Angiogram alone costs about Php 30-55k (approx. USD 1280), then for the Angioplasty, 1st stent costs around Php 350K (approx. USD 8140), then additional Php 100K (approx. USD 2326) for the succeeding additional stents to be used for each vessels to be ballooned. For the Open Heart Surgery, we were asked to prepare another Php 470K (approx. USD 10928). Those are the reasons why we are aiming for a USD 25K goal in this fundraising.

Medical History
2010 - (April 15) Embolic Stroke
- 1 day ICU confinement, 2 days recovery, then, the next day discharged and recommended to seek help of a Neurologist and Cardiologist
- was advised to undergo Angiogram but opted to take the Medical Treatment Plan (consist of pharmacologic intervention, diagnostic tests and laboratory test) due to financial constraints
- Prescription Medicine
1. Co-Aprovel
2. Elantan Long
3. Aldactone
4. Ketosteril (3x a day)
5. Lipitor
6. Plavix
7. Norvasc
8. Cordarone
9. Warfarin
- monthly Medical Expenses amounts to Php 13K (approx. USD 302)
- no deficits, no lags, no delays in the physical examinations done

1980 to 2010 - Chronic Hypertension managed by Beta-blockers

Physically, he looks strong and okay because he is conscious and we can talk to him as if there's nothing wrong inside his heart. However, his vital signs tell otherwise because in a minute his heart rate may be 60-65bpm but on the next it can go wild up to 107-177bpm. He is in complete bed rest right now because any sudden movement or even a small effort to push down when defecating can trigger his tachyarrythmia again. He has been a stroke survivor for 3 years now and we've always seen that as a miracle because he's never been paralyzed, no memory gaps or deficits. Now, we are hoping for another miracle yet to come.

Honestly, it is so difficult to see someone you love and look up to go through this kind of trial. Even if he won't say it, we know he's worrying about the mounting bills that's accumulating everyday. He's quietly analyzing where can we get such funds for his hospitalization. He said to my sister that he doesn't ask God why, or why him, but that he accepts whatever plan God has for him. He prays every morning when he wakes up and every night before going to sleep. He prays for him to get well soon and leave the hospital alive - we all pray for that too.

He's my Papa, he's raised me and made me see him as the go to guy for my school projects and countless questions about whatnots, the handyman who can always fix any electrical appliance (thinking that it's a waste of money to throw away something that can still be fixed), create a study table for my younger siblings, act as a stage-father when one of us participates in a school event. He's that unconventional father who has been strict with discipline, ideals and principles but is very easy-going and entertaining to our friends. He's skeptic sometimes because he worries too much about our household expenses but he's very supportive of my business plans and rackets. We have a very unique Papa and together with Mama, they have raised four unique individuals who love them with all their hearts.

You may or may not know me and my family personally, however, I am still knocking at your compassionate hearts, asking you to help us financially by donating whatever amount you can wholeheartedly give us. We are hoping to raise this fund for a week because his symptoms may not be life-threatening but the complications are fatal, therefore, procedures must be done quickly to minimize or control the damage in his heart. Thank you very much in anticipation of your favorable response in our call.

We hope to help you as well in the future.

May God bless us always!
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Mj Mercado 
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