Marjun Amparo Jr
Dad makes urgent appeal for baby with heart defect
Argie Aguja (The Philippine Star) - August 8, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Eight-month-old baby Marjun Amparo Jr. is under stress, pained by three congenital heart problems diagnosed last May.

Inside the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) pediatric ward, Marjun cries and struggles to sleep in the arms of his mother Maricel. It’s been hours since he last drank milk as doctors put him on a six-hour fasting to prepare for a Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) procedure.

The CTA procedure will give a preview of the tiny arteries and veins in Marjun’s heart. He is in pain because of large syringe marks on his right arm and left leg, but the frail body of Marjun is in stark contrast to the determined spirit in his eyes.

After borrowing money from friends, the Amparo family brought baby Marjun to Manila. For two months now, they have been staying in a small rented room near the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Compound in Quezon City so that they could be near PHC.

The father, Marjun Amparo Sr., a native of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, talks about how the medical struggle began.

“We were very happy when baby Marjun Jr. was born last Nov. 15, 2017. He is our second child. When we went to the doctor for his checkup, he noticed something wrong with him. So we took him to Cagayan de Oro City and found out that he had a congenital heart problem. We also went to Davao City to get a second opinion and that confirmed our worst fears. Both doctors recommended that we go to Manila for further treatment,” he explains.

Baby Marjun has been diagnosed with three different issues in his heart. The first, Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), is a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart.

The second is Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), where the ductus arteriosus of the heart did not close properly after birth.

Third is a condition known as Coarctation of the Aorta (CoA), a narrowing of the aorta affecting blood flow which can further cause high blood pressure or heart damage.

These issues must be fixed as soon as possible, as further delay can put his life in danger. 

A chance at life

Congenital heart problems can’t be prevented but treatments are available to correct the defects so that patients can live normal lives. But heart surgeries are costly.

“The doctors told us to prepare P114,000 before the surgery could begin. That is just for the down payment. The rest, including medicine and other expenses, will be part of the final hospital bill. We asked around and we’ve been told that this kind of operation could possibly reach almost P1 million. We don’t have that kind of amount; we are just ordinary people,” said Amparo Sr., a former trailer truck driver.

“We barely have anything left from the money that we borrowed. The baby’s milk is running out, too. But we will continue to fight and do everything we can so that we can save him. We’ll endure this hardship together as a family. I humbly appeal to the kind hearts of people. Please help me fight for the life of my son. Please help us secure his operations. We ask out of the goodness of your heart to please help us save him,” he added.

Operation Damayan – the socio-civic and humanitarian arm of The Philippine STAR – and the Amparo family ask for prayers and financial assistance to save the life of baby Marjun.

Donations can be deposited through Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) account number 810-569-5919 under the account name Marjun Amparo. Donors may also get in touch with the parents, Maricel (0917-300-8164) and Marjun Sr. (0997-410-2184).

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