A Boy named BOI

Name: Newel Irvin Lance
Birthdate: December 12, 2004
Mother’s Name: Milagros
Father’s Name: Noel
Siblings: Celerhina Aubrey
Noel Ian
Pediatrician’s Diagnosis: Baby boy is suffering from Cerebral Palsy due to lack of oxygen on his brain caused by Cord Coil.
I could never forget the day my baby brother was born!
A couple of days back, me and my then boyfriend are having a round of fights. When my Mama gave birth, said boyfriend is kind enough to accompany me in visiting Mama to the hospital. Mama even talked to him and told him that he should take care of me and made him promise never to make me cry again. Then she told us that the baby is not healthy as we’ve hoped. He’s dead when he was born, but the doctor was able to revive him. Mama was very sad and worried.
She gave birth to lying in clinic in Sta. Mesa and the doctor advised us to transfer the baby to a hospital because the lying in not sufficient. My brother needs to see a specialist.
We’re all worried. My brother didn’t cry at all when he was born like all normal babies. My brother doesn’t know how to suck from my Mama’s breast. He doesn’t know how to feed himself. It is then that we accepted the fact that there’s something wrong with our baby.       
He’s the cutest boy ever. His skin is as white as the snow. His face is like that of a cherub. You would even think he’s a son of a foreigner. And you will never notice that there’s something wrong with him by just looking at him. He’s like any normal baby. But of course we know better.
We transferred him to a nearby hospital. Papa and Mama had a very hard time finding a hospital that would accept our baby. Yes! You read it right: those hospitals didn’t accept our little boy. They said they don’t have the equipment that the baby needs. They said they were full and couldn’t accept another little creature. Mama and Papa are almost desperate. Our baby needs assistance. Why are they refusing him that? I was so angry then. I cursed all those hospitals. How could they? How could they even not accept a little boy? He just needs some medication. He needs attention. Even just for a night. Until now, I still can’t find the heart to forgive those hospitals who said no to our baby that night. If only they let our baby in, all he need is oxygen, something we found out later. If only we knew. If only I knew! Then maybe, maybe my brother won’t be like this.
He was accepted by a private hospital in Nagtahan. I went there. I took care of him. I never leave his side. I was crying the whole time while telling him, “baby, don’t give up. Ate loves you so much. Fight my baby boy. Be strong.”
That night, I noticed he’s having fever. I was up all night taking care of him. I told the doctor and the doctor tried to put dextrose on him but they failed. According to them, his veins are too small. Of course they are small! He’s an infant. A new born baby the size of a shoe box! And every time I see the doctor inserts a needle on my baby’s arms and legs, it seems like my heart was shattered into a thousand pieces. The Doctor seem to not know what he’s doing. If I’m not mistaken he tried more than 5 times. Imagine? The sarcastic me can’t help but tell that stupid doctor, “Alam mo ba ginagawa mo Doc? Trial and error ba to? Gusto mo magpractice ka muna saken bago mo pag-praktisan kapatid ko.”
The following morning, the same doctor advised us to transfer my brother again to another hospital claiming their facilities are insufficient. They told us to leave the hospital before 11AM that day and send us our bill amounting to twelve thousand pesos for a 12hours stay on their hospital. Until now, every time I pass by that hospital, I can’t help but curse them.
We then transferred our baby to the Philippine Children's Medical Center in Quezon City. This hospital is very far from our place but we don’t have any choice.
That time, there’s a diarrhea outbreak in Quezon City and the hospital was jam packed. But when they saw my brother, they didn’t turn us down. Instead, they asked us if it’s ok for us to stay in the E.R. until there’s a room available for us. And we can’t help but be more than thankful to them.
I can clearly remember that day. I was carrying a Nescafe Tin Can that holds my 5 peso and 10 peso coins. I used to run a small business during college. My parents are not rich and the only reason why I was able to graduate from college is because I’m a scholar. And during my college years when I could feel that my parents are having difficulty in providing all my needs for school, I decided to help them. And true enough, I was able to support myself. But that time, those coins and money are enough to support my brother.
Whenever I remember those times, I just can’t help but cry. My mama would count coins coming from the tin can every time the doctors would ask us to pay something or to buy some medicine that is currently not available in the hospital and must be bought outside. We didn’t eat at all. Saving all the money we could because that’s all we’ve got. Papa is not yet around. He’s still somewhere looking for help. Those were bad times for my Papa as well, because only months earlier, his father was hospitalized also. We are not financially and emotionally able during those times. But those times, made us stronger as a family. Those times made me love my family more than anything in this world. And those were the times when I was able to appreciate them.
My younger sister stopped school to help Mama. I’m about to graduate then. We needed money as well. And my mother need someone to help him take care of our special boy. But my parents can’t afford to let me stop school.
2004 is my saddest Christmas ever. Mama and Boi (my baby brother) is at the hospital. I remembered calling her and crying over the phone. That is the first Christmas that we’ve spent apart from each other. Papa is at work. My younger sister my other brother is staying at my Lola’s place while I spend the Christmas Eve with my boyfriend’s family.
A day before New Year, my baby brother was allowed to go home already. We spent our first New Year with nothing. My mama was crying because we don’t have anything on our table. Our relatives just gave us some food to share. And my other brother who’s just 8 then was almost in tears because he’s not used to the idea of not having a lot of food during New Year. My mama didn’t know what to do then or how to explain to my brother what happened. But thankful enough my brother told us, “hindi na bale wala tayong handa Ma no? buhay naman si baby tsaka kasama natin sya no?”
And again, I felt grateful for having a family like mine.
2005 has been very difficult for us. My Lolo died. I thought I would not graduate because we don’t have enough money and the money from my business was all used for my brother. Add the fact that my brother needs constant medical attention. That year, my brother underwent series of tests and we would always bring him to PCMC. Every time a test was done, a doctor would say one diagnosis after another. Shattering all hopes left to us. We feared he’d have Epilepsy or that his heart is not strong enough. We feared he’s deaf. We had his eyes checked thinking his blind also coz he wont react to anything.
While some mothers would whine every time their baby cries, our family was wishing that our baby would learn how to cry. While some mothers would complain that their baby suck their breasts too much that it hurts, we were wishing that my baby would learn how to suck so we wont need to feed him through a tube. We appreciate the small things. The faintest smile. We would be delighted every time he would show signs that he noticed us. We would be so happy for one little movement. A minuscule of development.
Every time my mama would see children with Down Syndrome she would always tell us how she hoped our baby have that instead of cerebral palsy. At least he could walk and talk and have fun. So I hope the parents of those kids with down syndrome would read this. Because yes! Some babies are worst than your babies. And every time we would see other babies whose sickness is worst than what our baby has right now, we would always say a silent prayer. Thanking the Lord that our baby is not like that.
At almost 5 yrs. old, my baby brother still looks like a 5month old baby. He’s very small and very thin. He can’t sit or crawl. He can’t talk. He still doesn’t have the slightest idea of what’s happening around him. The only thing he could do is “beautiful eyes”. For 2 years now, that’s the only trick he could do and until now, we would still laugh and thank God every time he does that.
Writing about him is the most difficult thing I did. I was crying the whole time. It’s like re-living every second of those saddest times of my life. But I felt great. I felt happy that finally, I was able to write about him. At last, I was able to share our story.


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