NADA Philippines at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center Hospital
Article written by Janet P. Paredes
This year, NADA Philippines collaborated with KYTHE Foundation, a non-profit organization and the only provider of the Child Life Program in the Philippines that delivers psychosocial care in hospitals to indigent children with cancer and chronic illness.
This is the first time that a group such as NADA Philippines has offered to give free ear acudetox treatments to the parents and caregivers of these indigent children at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center Hospital (PCMC).
It is our aim to somehow alleviate the suffering of the parents and caregivers by giving them some space even for 20-30 minutes sitting down during their acudetox treatment, while their children are being treated at the hospital.
This is also a two way process, wherein the acudetox specialists also learn from the sharing of stories from parents and caregivers and from the children themselves.
Following is the process that NADA Philippines underwent before we were able to give treatments inside the PCMC Hospital:
- March 27, 2015 NADA Philippines’ gave a NADA orientation to the KYTHE Foundation Staff, coordinators and volunteers at the KYTHE office.
- August 20, 2015, KYTHE introduced NADA Philippines to the Hematology Department of the Hospital where we conducted another NADA Philippines’ orientation to doctors, staff, attendants, nurses, etc. of the Hematology department and free ear treatments. They all LOVED it!
There were 8 Acudetox specialists who volunteered to help out and give treatments.
Doctors enjoyed the treatments which had them napping inside their conference room. They look forward to their next treatments.
- KYTHE Foundation wrote PCMC hospital and endorsed NADA Philippines for regular Friday 2 -4 p.m. treatments to caregivers and parents of the indigent children with leukemia, thalassemia and other blood problems. The treatments started on September 4, 2015.
With permission of the parents, here are some photos of the children with cancer.
The fathers of two 4 year old little girls, Annika and Xylliah shared that they avail of the free chemotherapy at the hospital almost daily.
While waiting for the intravenous chemotherapy to be finished – which takes around 8-10 hours – they sit down to receive the NADA protocol in the vicinity of the KYTHE office at PCMC.
We hear many stories from parents and caregivers before treatments and after treatments. They are very grateful for the free acudetox they receive from NADA as they wait for their children’s treatment to finish.
One mother said, “This is the first time that I received treatment and I feel so relaxed”.
Others shared: “It is good that now it will be us parents having treatments, not just our children”.
“My little girl has been here, in and out of the hospital for 17 years now. It has become very exhausting fighting leukemia”.
“My daughter had leukemia since she was one year old, she is now five and still fighting leukemia”.
“Thank you NADA Philippines for the time and effort you spend with us”.
Left: Xylliah and Annika. Right: Male nurse checks on their intravenous Chemotherapy.
Acudetox Volunteers wear their KYTHE flies with NADA Phils. t-shirts. From left: Trisha Sanijon, Evelyn Dulay, Aida Lim, Ampy Peralta, Lorrie Estavillo and Letty Abuy
Left: Teenager on wheelchair waits while his father is given acudetox by Fil Borja, ADS. Right: Parents, caregivers given acudetox.
NADA Philippines ADSes, wait for their turns to treat the parents and caregivers at the KYTHE station.
In this hospital, indigent children with their parents wait in line as early as 5am. Treatments are given until 7pm. There are 50 to 90 patients per day with accompanying parents and caregivers.
After every treatment day, ADSes of NADA Philippines would sit down at the end of the day to do reflections on how their day went and how they felt giving treatments to the parents and caregivers. In this way, the sessions give relevance and deeper meaning to what we do. This debriefs the ADSes and helps us avoid burn out.
The conversations and sharings that we hold regularly give more meaning to what we do.
It is very heartbreaking and very touching to imagine 4 year old children and even younger ones undergoing such procedures and interventions at such a very young age, while other children their age play, go to school and behave as children do.
The fathers of Annika and Xylliah, the two little girls I was observing that day told me that they had to quit their jobs to be with their little girls. The mothers work for the family’s income. They shared that “it was difficult to explain at first, the most difficult was at the time the hair of Xylliah started falling out and were on her pillow”.
Little Xylliah told her dad “Dad, you just be the one to grow your hair longer so I can tie it”. Xylliah’s father agreed and replied that her falling hair was only a temporary condition and that it will grow eventually when she gets well.
Xylliah used to wear a hat for she was ashamed that her playmates would see her bald. But later on, she got used to it and decided to be what she is, bald at a very young age.
Why did they have Leukemia at a very young age?
For Xylliah, the Hematology doctors at PCMC, as explained to me by her father, this was a result of three things:
- radiation exposure with the frequent use of cell phones;
- red hot dogs found to be carcinogenic which Xylliah eats a lot
- pollution from vehicles and the environment where they live.
For Annika, it was genetical, it runs in the genes of the family.
At our NADA Facebook Page, we call upon ADSes here in the Philippines to volunteer their services for just 2 hours every week. We usually have 5-6 volunteer ADSes who treat 17 to 30 patients at one time.
We are getting ready for a Monday treatment day, as Monday has more patients coming to the hospital.
It is Life-Giving to be of Service to our Fellow Filipinos.
In any help or service we give to people, both parties are changed in the process.
The value of treatment is that sense of serenity, calmness, sacred space it provides when there is too much to bear within, which allows the patients to get in touch with themselves and feel a sense of well-being, even for just a day.
This is one project where donated needles are utilized. Please continue to send us needles to continue our work in other areas in the Philippines were it is most needed!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR UNENDING SUPPORT AND LOVE!!
Coordinator for PCMC Project: John Joseph Posadas, ADS, RN Cert. Ac.
Assistant Coordinator : Trisha Janine Y. Sanijon, ADS
NADA Philippines Admin Assistant: Evelyn Dulay, ADS
Ace Lennon Babasa
Dr. Bernie Bartolome
NADA Philippines website: www.nadaphilippines.com