Philippine Self-Help Foundation

51-year-old Roselyn laboured to breathe and speak when she came to the office last week to ask for help to get medical treatment. She came with her 11-year-old daughter Uvelyn whom she held on to in order to reach the office. She asked to sit outside the door where it was more airy. Soon after, Lester Joy, a PSHF field worker, arrived and she agreed to take Roselyn to the clinic of an internal medicine specialist. 

After listening to her breathing with his stethoscope, the doctor said to Lester Joy: this poor lady has severe pneumonia; she needs to take medication right away. Roselyn has no job and so depends on the mercy of relatives as well as her neighbours for food. She used to sell vegetables at the south terminal market but her meagre income from selling was just enough for daily essentials. She was in no position at all to pay for her medication.

Last week, Roselyn felt so bad that she thought that she would not last long. Then she remembered the PSHF and so came to ask for help.

Below is her full story.

Uvelyn (11) is in grade three in a local public elementary school. Two weeks ago, she was absent from school because she had a fever. Last week she was absent again because her mother, Roselyn Acosta (51), became stricken with asthma and she needed Uvelyn beside her to do errands for her.

This morning Uvelyn accompanied her mother to the office. It was about 10 o’clock in the morning when they knocked on the door; Roselyn was looking haggard and miserable. She had little sleep the night before because of breathing difficulties. She had no one to turn to. Her common-law husband, Eugenio Acosta, left her and Uvelyn a year ago to live with another woman. Her older children from her previous husband are also too poor to help her. Last night, she remembered the PSHF and so this morning, she asked Uvelyn to go with her.

I wanted to tell Roselyn to go to the local provincial hospital to have a check up but seeing her labouring to breathe, I changed my mind. Fortunately Lester Joy, a PSHF field worker arrived soon after and I asked her to take Roselyn to the clinic of Dr Paylado, an internal medicine specialist. Soon they were off to his clinic in a tricycle.

After listening to Roselyn’s breathing with his stethoscope, Dr Paylado said to Lester Joy: this poor woman has severe pneumonia; she needs to take medication right away. It was found out that Roselyn had been coughing and suffering from asthma for two weeks and had received no medication at all. So from the clinic, Lester Joy dropped by a nearby pharmacy to buy a day’s prescriptions for Roselyn.

Originally the plan was to provide for Roselyn’s medication from the PSHF’s medical emergency fund. However when Lester Joy computed the total cost of the medication, it amounted to more than 3,000 pesos so we decided that Roselyn should have a grant.

A number of years ago Roselyn received a loan from the PSHF to buy and sell vegetables. She had been having trouble paying this back because of her health condition as well as circumstances at home. Eugenio, when he was still around, was not supporting her regularly and whatever she (Roselyn) made from vegetable vending was spent on food.

This afternoon, after taking a first dose of her prescriptions, Roselyn soon began to breathe more easily and started chatting with us. This morning, when she had arrived in the office, she spoke in short laboured sentences. We would like to see Roselyn make a full recovery and it is for this purpose that this proposal is being written. Aside from her medication, we would also like to provide her with some capital so that she can go back to selling vegetables. If she has a proper livelihood to depend upon, she will have funds to eat nutritious meals three times a day and keep Uvelyn in school.

Bernadette G. Togado

PSHF Negros Occidental

September 2015