14 October 2009

Help for a 9-Month Old Baby

Janine Marie Victoria Medalla
Johanna Tejada-Medalla, a single mother with three children, is asking for help for her nine-month-old daughter, Janine Marie Victoria.

"My daughter Janine was born with a life-threatening condition called biliary atresia. Her liver cannot drain its waste products. This creates an irreversible condition starting with hepatitis which can later develop into liver cirrhosis and liver failure in a very short time," she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Biliary Atresia is a rare condition in newborn infants in which the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent. Rare, meaning this happens in 1 out of 15,000 births. There is no known cause and the temporary fix for this disease is a procedure known as the Kasai Method.

In Janine’s case, she was diagnosed initially with Neonatal Hepatitis at 2 1/2 months and after two weeks of medication, no major changes were observed on her skin color and stool. This made her pediatrician decide to have another biopsy, eventually it turned out to be Biliary Atresia. During that time, there was already a significant amount of damage to her liver. White blood cells invaded the ducts, which became damaged or closed completely, bile was then trapped inside the liver and rapidly caused liver cirrhosis.

Medalla said her baby needs to undergo a liver transplant to prevent organ failure. Her doctors feel that this is the best time for her to undergo the procedure which, unfortunately, can only be done in Taiwan at the cost of PhP 3 million.

Those who want to help Janine can deposit their donations in any Banco de Oro branch under the account name of Johanna T. Medalla with savings account number 670137944. Medalla can be contacted at 5020657, cell phone 0922-8291299, 0917-7943673 or e-mail medal2010@