Written by Dionne Cabanos (UP DevComm Intern)
Heart complications caused 16 year old Kae Tapere to stop studying for a year.
According to her, the doctor said her heartbeat was weak due to low level of potassium in her body. This happened in 2013.
Kae narrated the incident when she first experienced the disease. She said it happened during her summer vacation, around April-May of 2013.
Her uncle brought her to Sibonga (southern part of Cebu) to spend her vacation there. However, as they were on their way home to Guadalupe, Cebu, heavy rain fell, drenching her and her companions. When she got home, Kae fell asleep while she was still wet.
When she woke up, she realized she had a hard time walking, but it just passed and she felt better, so she didn’t think more of it.
“Mga pila ka bulan (after) kay naglisod naman ko’g ginhawa (Many months later, I just suddenly had a hard time breathing),” recalled Kae.
She was brought to a hospital here in Cebu. It was around the time when Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines.
“Timing ato kay sa Tacloban ba, daghan man kaayo ni ari sa Vicente Sotto. (There were so many people from Tacloban who came to the hospital),” she said.
The doctor told them that if they wanted to be admit Kae to the hospital, she would have no bed or room to stay in and she would have to remain seated on one of the chairs.
Her mother chose to have medication for Kae instead, due to the situation in the hospital.
What followed was a month of going back and forth to the hospital for check ups.
Kae is now in 7th grade. She is 3 years older than her classmates because of the years she lost. However, despite the delay, she is confident and ready to complete her studies. Her heart is stronger than ever.
Kae has 3 older step-siblings. Her mother is a housewife and her father is a taxi driver. Her father’s salary is sometimes insufficient for the family’s daily needs. She is thankful that she is part of the education sponsorship program of the Rise Above Foundation Cebu since first grade because she can go to school despite of their financial difficulty.
She is also thankful that through the sponsorship, she gets healthy snacks and lunch daily which strengthens her and is a big help in overcoming her sickness and it prevents her from getting sick again.
You can help children like Kae. Make a difference through our Education Sponsorship Program. To know more about the program, you can send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or check it out at our Sponsor Education page.