Henielyn Sulit broke her heart when she could no longer afford treatment to fix her six-month-old baby Gabriel’ clubfoot.
Clubfoot is a congenital abnormality, wherein the baby’s foot is twisted out of position. The deformity can be corrected through casting procedures immediately after the baby’s birth.
Baby Gabriel’s treatment, Henielyn recalled, started when he was still 3-week-old but only lasted until he reached his fifth month.
The plain housewife said her husband’s P4,600 monthly income can no longer keep up with twice a week casting sessions, which cost P600 each at the Rizal Medical Center.
“Masakit ‘man po para sa akin bilang ina na makitang nahihirapan ang anak ko, tinigil po namin ang casting ni Gabriel dahil hindi na po kaya ng sahod ng asawa ko,” Henielyn said.
“Ang bigat sa loob na makita ang anak mo sa ganoong sitwasyon. Humingi kami ng tulong sa mga kamag-anak namin pero kahit sila kapos rin,” she continued.
That is why Henielyn was thankful to the office of Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian for helping their family support her son’s treatment.
During the celebration of his 40th birdthay, Gatchalian conducted a medical mission at the Pateros Town Center last March.
“Tinanong ko kung tumutulong sila sa mga baby na may clubfoot, mayroon daw. Sobrang saya ko nang malaman ko ‘yun, may pag-asa pa si Gabriel,” she recalled.
“May makakatulong pa sa anak ko,” she added.
Despite being a resident of Pateros City, Gatchalian’s office still shouldered baby Gabriel’s casting sessions done at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMCC) that ran from April to June.
Gatchalian’s office also provided shoes that can help correct his clubfoot.
As the baby turns almost one year old, Mrs. Sulit was grateful to the office of Gatchalian with the result of the casting sessions at the VMCC.
“Mas maganda na po ngayon ‘yung (kaliwang) paa ni Gabriel. Hindi na rin po siya nahihirapan. Nakakapaglakad na rin siya at nakakapaglaro,” Henielyn reported.
“Kung hindi siya nagpa-medical mission dito sa amin sa Pateros, hindi ko alam kung kanino kami lalapit. Siya ang may birthday noon pero siya pa ang nagbigay ng regalo sa anak ko, sa pamilya namin,” she added.
Aside from Gabriel, the medical mission in Pateros was able to help 1,035 patients from checkup, free laboratory examinations, and medicines.
The office of Rep. Gatchalian located at 332 MacArthur Highway, Malinta, Valenzuela City is open to all those who needs medical and other assistance.
You may call at (02) 352 0549 and coordinate with Ms. Maya Clariño, the focal person for clubfoot, cleft lip, and palate services to know more about the project. (Camille Nepomuceno)