Medical City , Pasig City- Philippines
(From left) LIGTAS representative Joey Teotico and CLDMT head Dr. Vanessa H. De Villa with guests from PCSO – Atty. Chai Hernandez from the Chairman’s Office, General Manager Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, Director Atty. Francisco Joaquin III and Dr. Larry Cedro, Assistant General Manager for Charity Sector
Ms. Imelda Guzman, the mother of a liver-transplant recipient, says she has a strong desire to meet and bond with families that, like them, have a loved one in need of or have undergone a liver-transplant operation.
When she and daughter Marilda went to Manila for a vacation in April, they took time to visit 4-year-old Aga Fulgencio, who was then recovering from his liver-transplant operation performed on February 17, at The Medical City (TMC). Marilda underwent the same operation in 2013, also at TMC.
“In my own way, I would like to offer our support and share our experiences with Aga’s family,” Guzman says.
Waiting for or living with liver transplant can be difficult. Thus, having support from family and friends can be very helpful.
“The patient and his family may also benefit from joining a support group of people who understand what the patient is going through,” says Dr. Vanessa de Villa, head of TMC’s Center for Liver Disease Management and Transplantation (CLDMT).
With this in mind, CLDMT, in coordination with TMC’s Center for Patient Partnership, is launching the Liver Transplant Information and Guidance Through Awareness and Support (Ligtas) support group.
Ligtas is designed to offer support and education to liver transplant recipients, candidates, caregivers and family members. It provides a forum for sharing information and experiences, and helps patients and their loved ones better understand and cope with the issues and concerns associated with liver transplant.
The support group uses a multidisciplinary approach in providing social and wellness support, and education on liver health and disease to its members. Ligtas is facilitated by a set of professionals engaged in allied medical, administrative and support services.
“All liver-transplant candidates, recipients and their families are eligible to join Ligtas. They just need to fill out an application form, which can be secured from the CLDMT office at TMC Ortigas,” de Villa says.
De Villa, a liver-transplant surgeon, has worked in some of the best transplant centers in the world and plays a lead role in the development of liver transplant in the country. Since 2011, CLDMT, under her leadership, has done eight liver-transplant operations.
In January 2011 TMC performed the first successful pediatric liver transplant in the country with 3-year-old Catherine Erica Buenaventura as patient. Erica then had a living donor, her 17-year-old uncle.
Marilda and Aga were TMC’s third and seventh liver-transplant recipients, respectively.
De Villa is also thankful for the generous support of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), led by General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II. The PCSO, through a formal partnership with TMC, has been very committed in giving liver-transplant patients financial assistance.
Aside from the generous financial aid, Rojas also makes it a point to personally visit these patients, to talk to them and provide moral support.
The CLDMT is a specialty unit that offers a comprehensive array of diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients with liver diseases and liver tumors through an integrated and highly skilled multidisciplinary, patient-partnership approach. It is otherwise known as The Medical City Liver Center and may be reached through 988-7000 local 6506.