The Heart of the Matter
In the heart of the Bataan Peninsular across the bay from Manila in the Philippines, little "Vin" Andrie C. Dagami has a fight on his hands. Diagnosed with the serious liver disease Biliary Atresia (BA), he has spent his entire life of only one year and nine months fighting to stay alive. Blessed with Angelyne as his mother, it has been a constant uphill battle to stay on top of this killer predicament. Vin has recently had another blood transfusion to combat extreme anemia and a general lack of body resistance to the Biliary Atresia. Vin’s complications are such that the world now only has one solution left for him to embrace – he must have a full liver transplant.
Based in Manila a facebook Group BA Babies Phils. exists to support, inform and assist post-liver transplant families. The group is essentially made up of families who have been through the mill and their youngsters have survived, revived and are living the full lives that everyone deserves.
The critical link is with Taiwan, which has the doctors, the expertise, facilities and capabilities to perform these liver transplant operations successfully. However the task is financially daunting. The cost for such an operation is around NT$1.6 to $2 Million (c. US$66,000) at the recommended Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Kaohsiung City. The needed living allowance in addition, to cover board and lodging in the nearby hostel, is currently estimated at Pesos 300K (c.US$7,000). Then there are the flight costs on top. To be safe the current cash sum required is US$88,000.
Little Vin Dagami is definitely a fighter, but he needs financial assistance to be a survivor. His family lives on the equivalent of only a few US dollars a day, and local assistance has kept him going in his fight to live.
Vin deserves the chance to live his full life, and is a plucky gutsy little fellow who will grow up as such a strong character and a boon to his community…provided he gets the chance.
Only Cash Donors can now provide him with the chance to grow up and to prove himself.
His mother Angelyne looks after him as best she can at the moment, and Vin’s father Alfie is out there as a local driver and conductor allowing the family to live on the brink of survival.
There is magic in the air, and 88 is a powerful Chinese lucky number, but only donors will be the answer to Vin’s prayers. The spokesperson of the Group BA Babies Phils. says, “We will include Baby Vin Dagami in our prayers. Keep the Faith!”
** ** ** **
It is now down to supporters to bring Vin’s case into view around the outside World. Here lies the truth of Vin’s situation, and herein is the real Heart of the Matter.
Biliary atresia, also known as "extrahepatic ductopenia" and "progressive obliterative cholangiopathy" is a congenital or acquired disease of the liver and one of the principal forms of chronic rejection of a transplanted liver allograft. As a birth defect in newborn infants, it has an occurrence of 1/10,000 to 1/15,000 cases in live births in the United States. In the congenital form, the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent. The acquired type most often occurs in the setting of autoimmune disease, and is one of the principal forms of chronic rejection of a transplanted liver allograft.
Infants and children with biliary atresia have progressive cholestasis with all the usual concomitant features: jaundice, pruritus, malabsorption with growth retardation, fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies, hyperlipidemia, and eventually cirrhosis with portal hypertension. If unrecognized, the condition leads to liver failure—but not kernicterus, as the liver is still able to conjugate bilirubin, and conjugated bilirubin is unable to cross the blood–brain barrier. The cause of the condition is unknown. The only effective treatments are certain surgeries such as the kasai procedure, or liver transplantation, both of which, have proven effective in only a small number of historical cases.
Liver transplantation or hepatic transplantation is the replacement of a diseased liver with some or all of a healthy liver from another person (allograft). The most commonly used technique is orthotopic transplantation, in which the native liver is removed and replaced by the donor organ in the same anatomic location as the original liver. Liver transplantation is a viable treatment option for end-stage liver disease and acute liver failure. Typically three surgeons and two anesthesiologists are involved, with up to four supporting nurses. The surgical procedure is very demanding and ranges from 4 to 18 hours depending on outcome. Numerous anastomoses and sutures, and many disconnections and reconnections of abdominal and hepatic tissue, must be made for the transplant to succeed, requiring an eligible recipient and a well-calibrated live or cadaveric donor match.
Cost of Operation:
The cost for such an operation is around NT$1.6 to $2 Million (c. US$66,000) at the recommended Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Kaohsiung City. The needed living allowance in addition, to cover board and lodging in the nearby hostel, is currently estimated at Pesos 300K (c.US$7,000). Then there are the flight costs on top. To be safe the current cash sum required is US$88,000.