These are a peaceful and joyful people who make their living from the seas, lacking even the most basic necessities of life that we in the U.S. and Europe take for granted every day. No running water, no toilets, cooking outdoors and living is small huts made of native island materials.
The first time that I visited Bantayan Island and walked amongst the villages, I was awestruck by their poverty. My wife and I made a commitment during that first visit, to return to the United States, sell our home, and move, full time to the island and do what we could for our new friends.
On November 8, 2012, one of the world's most massive Super Typhoon's, "Hayain", struck Bantayan Island Directly. The island and people were utterly devistated. Marissa and I were back in the U.S. for a short visit with our families. When we heard the news, we booked flights back to the Philippines and immediately began rebuilding homes that were destroyed on the tiny island. After three months of hard word, our private little relief effort complete 61 new homes for people who were homeless.
On October 15, 2014, I awoke from my sleep on Bantayan to the most painful sensation I have ever experienced. I was in the midst of a severe heart attack on an issolated island--nearly 5 hours from proper medical attention.
It took a 1 hour ferry ride, and 4 hours by car before we reached the emergency room at the hospital in Cebu. I had suffered a moderate heart attack that had severely damaged my heart muscle. Doctors told me initially that about half of my heart had died due to lack of oxygen. I retained just 38% of my former capacity to pump blood through my body.
Doctors stated that I was in heart failure, or as otherwise known: "Congestive Heart Failure." My prognosis for survival--even for a few days--was initially not good. We have thousands of loving Christian friends in the U. S. who immediately began to pray for us and specifically, for healing in my heart muscle.
As I write this tonight from the ICU of the hospital in Cebu. I was told my the Cardiologist that my heart function has already improved from 38% to 45%. Tomorrow morning at 8 am, local time, I am scheduled for a Angiogram, as well the placement of two mesh stents in the blocked arteries supplying blood to my heart. Doctors expect that the procedure will go well and that I will receive close to normal function in my heart, once again.
I will remain in Congestive Heart Failure staus for the rest of my life, however, with good diet, exercise, and proper maintnenace through heart medications, I should live a relatively normal life.
When we came to serve here in the Philippines, we did so only with our own savings. We have not been funded by any organization, with the exception of a very large church in the U.S. which provided all of the money neded to rebuild homes on Bantayan after the Super Typhoon. All of these monies donated were used exclusively for the homes and none of these funds were used by us personally.
After 4 years, we are nearly destitute ourselves. We have spent our entire savings over the past three years, trying to serve the poor. We have not been able to afford health care insurance and simply trusted that our health would hold up while we served our dear friends in the Philippines.
The estimated cost for two weeks in ICU, all medications, tests, diagnostics, and surgeries, is over $17,442 (Revised 11/12/2014 to $11,627 ). Although this is about 1 1/0th the cost we would have incurred if this heart attack had taken place in the U.S., nevertheless, even this amount is insurmountable for us to achieve. We currently have just $3,400 in our bank accounts. Just our tickets back to the U.S. will use up this remaining balance. We do not have a home in the United States any longer, for this reason we also need assistance to rent a place to stay during my long recuperation, as well as continued medical treatment in the United States.
Next Saturday, November 15, 2014, the hospital will release us to go home. Upon our discharge, we must pay the entire balance owed. We do not have the $11,627 that they will demand. We are also lacking resorces to find housing and obtaining continued medical care when we return to the U.S.
Once I recover, we can return to Bantayan Island and sell our home to recover the money we will need to live permanently in Phoenix.
This is why we are appealing to you for help.
Pastor Rob and Marissa Robinson
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