If Loreta does not get her transplant, she will need to undergo expensive dialysis treatments (where the dialysis performs the function of the kidneys) for the rest of her life. However, the effects of a dialysis are temporary as it cannot repair injured kidney tissues. It can also cause other serious health problems and complications and can worsen the patient’s quality of life. The average life expectancy for a person on dialysis is generally five years but shortens significantly to days to a week, once the patient discontinues treatment.
Patients who get a kidney transplant before dialysis live on average 10 to 15 years longer because spending time on dialysis before getting a transplant can compromise the success of the new kidneys. Therefore, Loreta’s only option, her only cure, is to get a kidney transplant from her brother as soon as possible.
Loreta needs your help because she lives in the Philippines, where unlike Australia, they do not have Medicare. The government provides some form of financial assistance, however there is inequity in healthcare access and outcomes between socio economic groups, with patients often required to pay high levels of out of pocket costs. In Loreta’s case, this assistance is capped at a low level of 100,000 pesos (AUD $2,900). A kidney transplant surgery will cost a minimum of 1,200,000 pesos (AUD $33,900)*. Loreta, for long term survival, therefore needs your assistance to fund the shortfall of her medical expenses.
Loreta is an Industrial Engineer who, because of her talent and dedication, quickly rose to become the Chair of the Industrial Engineering Program at a University in Batangas (92km from Manila). Unfortunately, because of CKD, she is unable to fully function at work and realise her potential as she often suffers from hypertension, debilitating fatigue, stomach pain, muscle twitching, cramps as well numbness and swelling of her feet, hands and face and abnormal urine flow. Despite her suffering, Loreta remains positive and hopeful that one day she can live a normal life and continue her passion of teaching.
Her salary as a university faculty member (AUD $600 per MONTH) all goes towards her weekly maintenance of medications and check-ups. At times, Loreta goes without some of her medication as she and her family are simply unable to afford them. Her brother, also a promising engineer, has stopped working to help care for her and will donate his kidneys to her. Her father and younger sister had to leave their family and home to work in Saudi Arabia to earn a little bit more in jobs that earn relatively less, in order to support her. Unfortunately, due to the exorbitant costs of a transplant surgery, their combined incomes are still not enough.
Please donate to help Loreta get her kidney transplant as soon as possible and help her live her life to her potential.
* An application for financial support has been made to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in the Philippines. This is still to be confirmed and will likely cover only half of her medical expenses.
· “The Philippines Health System Review” , Health Systems in Transition Vol.1 No.2 2011, World Health Organisation
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