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Documentary Saves the Life of Pinoy Teen Suffering from Heart Disease

Reynaldo Nilo, a Filipino teenager who suffers from rheumatic heart disease boarded a flight To Khartoum, the capital of the east African country. He was filled with a mixture of fear, Hope and gratitude as he took his first ever flight. The doctors said that he urgently needs a surgery.

Photo of 17-year old Reynaldo Nilo (left), His sister Sarah ( right)  via Khaleejtimes
Although the treatment was available in the Philippines, it would cost his family more than a million pesos for the surgery. His parents were a farmer who raise ducks to support their living and clearly were not capable of paying for a heart surgery. Thankfully an Italian Charity, EMERGENCY, which was based in Kharoum provides free open heart surgery.

“I am extremely grateful to them for giving me the chance to have a longer life,” the 17-year-old told AFP a few hours before he and his elder sister, Sarah Joy, boarded the plane, a first for both, to Khartoum.

Nilo, who had to drop out of high school because of his condition, said he knew little about Africa other than disease and conflict.

“I’m scared because I heard they have Ebola there. I’m also concerned about the wars there,” said Nilo, as he sat beside his tearful elder sister at a relative’s home in Manila. “But if the Lord wills it, I should be okay and able to recover.”

Nilo had strep throat as a child and, because he did not take antibiotics at the time, it led to rheumatic heart disease, said UAE newspaper, Khaleej Times.

His sister Sarah found out about the Italian charity upon chancing on an Oscar Nominated Documentary, Open Heart. The documentary was about the story of Rwandan children who suffers from rheumatic heart disease and went through a high-risk surgery at the Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery.

After watching the documentary, Sarah tracked down the US producer who eventually put her in touch with EMERGENCY. They also agreed to pay the medications which was required for the rest of his life.

Watch this video courtesy of Youtube.

Source: AFP | Khaleej Times