Xyvel Cuyno (4), a child suffering from a skull defect - a frontal ethmoidal meningocele. A large lump between her eyes covers most of her left eye and extends to her nose, and the lump contains a small part of her brain and brain fluids. This can be corrected by surgery, which should be done now to prevent further damage to her eye and so that she can start school.
Xyvel is the sixth child of Julius (44) and Anita (42) Cuyno. When Xyvel was born, she had a bump on her face. Her parents expected the bump to disappear soon but instead it grew larger. When Xyvel was one month old, her parents sold their livestock to get money to take her to Cebu for a thorough checkup and examination by a specialist. It transpired that she would need major surgery, but she was too young for this, so the couple and their child returned to Bohol. In 2009, a US medical mission came to Ubay, their hometown on the island of Bohol, but to Julius' and Anita's dismay, the team could not treat their daughter as this was no ordinary tumor.
Despite her condition, Xyvel is an active child. According to her mother, the child's constant prayer is that her big lump will be removed so she can attend kindergarten. When Anita's cousin Riza informed Anita about the PSHF, she was not confident that she would get help, but she did not lose hope and they came to our Tagbilaran office in the first week of May. We arranged for a checkup by a neurosurgeon, who examined her with a CT scan. The bump can be removed but three surgical operations will be needed: 1) to open her head and remove the small part of the brain that is outside the skull and in the lump; 2) to correct the cranial defect; 3) to reconstruct her nose. The anticipated cost of these three operations is 125,000 pesos.
The surgery has been scheduled for the 23rd of May; the biggest immediate concern will be to save Xyvel's left eye which is seriously affected by the bump. If she can cope with the pain, the three surgical procedures will be performed in one session; otherwise the operations will be done one at a time, with a one month healing period between each of them.
Xyvel is eager to have this surgery, because she knows that when the surgery is over and she gets well, she will be able to go to kindergarten with other children of her age.
Analyn T. Gallibot
Xyvel before and after her first and second surgery.