CANCER-STRICKEN NEWBORN NEEDS PROMPT TREATMENT ABROAD
A DFA representative captures baby Sevy's passport photo. (Photo courtesy of DFA Asec. Elmer Cato)
MANILA -- The parents of Baby Sevy, a newborn diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, are appealing for support and assistance from Good Samaritans including the United States Embassy in Manila and airlines with routes to Memphis to send the baby for treatment at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, United States.
Maverick Sevrin "Sevy" Co, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or type of blood cancer that affects and causes the white blood cells to build up in major body organs. The baby has been on chemotherapy and blood transfusion since Dec. 29, a day after he was born.
According to Don Co, Sevy's father, "time is critical" for the infant as the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital wants no chemo treatment administered to Sevy.
On Monday night, hours after learning of the call for assistance from the Cos, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sent its consular team at the Manila Doctors Hospital to expedite the processing of Sevy's passport. The family took to social media to express gratitude for the agency's prompt response on their passport assistance appeal.
"Thank you for reaching out to us," they posted at "Saving SEVY" Facebook page. "Once we get our passport, (the) next major step is US Embassy in Manila. We are preparing all medical records/abstract, endorsement from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital."
The Cos are currently seeking information and guidance from the Philippine Airlines and Delta Air Lines on their newborn's flight from Manila to Memphis. Sevy is expected to travel with a drip line and on blood transfusion after his passport has been released, and his US visa processed.
While still in the Philippines, the family is in constant need of an O+ blood donor for Sevy who needs a bag of blood every eight hours.
For assistance, the family may be reached at 0998-864-2500.