According to “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho,” Ranelyn, who was healthy and loved wearing dresses, suddenly began losing so much weight. Her cheeks sunk in and her ribs started to protrude from her chest.
Her weight dropped to seven kilograms, around the same weight as that of a 7-month-old infant.
Ranelyn’s family said she used to be an energetic child, but since she lost weight, she couldn’t do anything except lie down on the floor.
“Nu’ng mataba pa siya gusto niya ang mga dress. ‘Yang mga shorts ba. Nito, hindi na niya gusto dahil nangayayat na raw siya, nahihiya na kasi siya,” said Ranelyn’s mother Jerlyn.
[When she was still healthy, she loved wearing dresses and shorts. Now, she doesn’t want to dress up because she’s getting thinner. She’s ashamed.]
Worse, Ranelyn lost her appetite and had pain swallowing because of mouth sores.
“Minsan pagdating ko dito, mukuwan siya sa akin sasalubong ba. Ngayon, iba na talaga kuwan na parati ng umiiyak. Hindi na marunong tumawa,” said Raul, Ranelyn’s father.
“Masakit talaga para sa akin. Hindi ko matanggap na nagkaganyan ang anak ko ngayon iba talaga sa dati. Parang biglaan talaga.”
[Sometimes, when I get back home, she’s excited to see me. Now, she’s different and she’s always crying. She doesn’t laugh anymore. It really breaks my heart. I can’t accept that this is what happened to my child. This is so unlike her. It was so sudden.]
Her mother blamed herself. “Akin na lang sana ‘yan. Akin ngang sinisi aking sarili. Akin na lang dinadasal sa Panginoon, ‘Huwag Mo sana siyang kukunin dahil gusto ko pang makita aking anak.'”
[I wish I were in her place. I blame myself. I could only pray to God, ‘please don’t take her because I still want to be with her.”]
It also didn’t help that both of her parents had no source of income amid the pandemic. Her father, who once worked in construction, lost his job when the pandemic hit.
According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, two out of 10 children lost weight because of the pandemic. One of the reasons it cited was the increased unemployment rate in the country.
The National Nutrition Council also said hunger in the Philippines has increased with 13.6% of the population suffering, which is equivalent to 3.4 million families.
Although the pandemic also affected the family, Ranelyn’s parents said their daughter started to lose weight even before it.
To have their daughter checked, her parents had to sell household items, such as their television and cell phone. The local doctor, however, said her condition would be better treated by a bigger facility.
Members of the Rural Health Unit and MSWD paid Ranelyn a visit and gave her a folding bed and pillow.
To help out, the KMJS team brought Ranelyn to a bigger health facility.
Ranelyn had to travel for six hours to get to a hospital in Lapu-Lapu City and, fortunately, the hospital offered to pay for her first confinement and medicines.
After examination, her pediatrician concluded that she had intestinal parasitism.
“Meron siyang intestinal parasitism. Base sa history, ‘yung dahilan po na sobrang pagkapayat niya ay dahil sa infection. Meron siyang mga bulate. Iyon ‘yung dahilan kaya siya may chronic malnutrition. Severely stunted tsaka severely wasted po.”
[She has intestinal parasitism. Based on her history, the reason behind her malnutrition is an infection. She has worms in her stomach. This is why she has chronic malnutrition. She’s severely stunted and severely wasted.]
According to the physician, the child has to go through a long process before she can go back to her normal health.
Wanting only the best for their child, Ranelyn’s parents reached out to the public for help and support.
For those who want to help Ranelyn, please deposit to:
ACCOUNT NAME: ACE CHRISTIAN A. SALAPANG
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 9099-1193-38