A Legacy for My Patients – M.A.M.

A Legacy for My Patients – M.A.M.

by Reynaldo O Joson on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 1:00am

Last July 6, 2011, when I was on duty at the Faculty Medical Arts Building (FMAB) in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) compound, Ms. M.A.M., in her 40s, came over to seek treatment for her huge left breast mass.  She had not sought treatment of her breast mass for the past 6 years because of financial problem. On that day, she and her husband came all the way from a remote town in the province of Quezon to PGH to seek treatment, bringing along P8,000,which she had saved all these years.  The couple does not have a place to stay in Manila. She initially went to the PGH Breast Care Center, a charity unit of the hospital. Seeing the long line, she decided to go to FMAB (with private clinics) to try her luck for an immediate affordable treatment.

When I saw her, after my evaluation and after knowing her financial situation, I went out of my way to help.  M.A.M. needed an operation under general anesthesia and the usual medical expense, even in government hospitals, even under charity basis, is usually way beyond the money she had saved for her treatment.  I could have simply advised her to be persevering and go seek treatment at the charity service of PGH or any government hospital.  However, I took pity on her and her husband.  Telling the couple to just go to the charity unit of PGH or other government hospital is like shooing them away.  Their savings would surely be eroded with the frequent trips to and from the hospital before she would be scheduled for admission and her breast mass could be removed. Also, the usual practice of doing a lot of diagnostic tests prior to the operation by physicians would definitely eat up their savings for the treatment.

I decided to help her admitted to the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center on the same day, July 6, 2011 and scheduled for operation in the soonest time possible which was on July 8, 2011.  I asked a senior resident, Dr. Mike Sunaz, to assist her in the preoperative preparations, without too much routine preoperative diagnostic tests, to give her some surgical supplies for free, and to facilitate her schedule with the anesthesiologists.

On July 8, 2011, I did the operation, a partial mastectomy, under charity basis, for free.  Fortunately, her breast disease was just a benign phyllodes tumor. I did not have to do a total mastectomy. She went home to Quezon Province right after her discharge from OMMC on July 11, 2011, the day when her tube drain was removed.  She texted me twice with expression of thanks.  For me, I was just happy to be of help to indigent patients like M.A.M, which I consider as one kind of a legacy that I will leave for my patients.  The other kind is education for health development. 416931_10151158440975800_1194384412_n

M.A.M and Husband in front of Ospital ng Manila Medical Center

268006_10150241320965800_8283267_nSide view of left breast mass

284609_10150241322120800_7143750_nLeft breast mass on cut section

261921_10150241323735800_7737333_nAfter operation with tube drain

264629_10150241324185800_7760910_nM.A.M in OMMC Surgery Ward


(Copied from ROJ FB Notes) – May 31, 2014


A Legacy for My Patients – M.A.M.

July 16, 2011 at 1:00am
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