Jerden aged 2, Denied U.S. Visa for Lifesaving Surgery
Now in the USA
by Support from the Internet, from the Media, from Surfers and Readers.
and from The Children's Law (CRC)
"Our aim is not to deprive a child of needed treatment, but, in all medical cases, we have to be sure that the treatment is paid for and provided without the need for public assistance in the US," Stuart Patt, the US Embassy's non-immigrant visa chief, e-mailed Bo Sandberg who manages the boes.org website that was instrumental in bringing attention to Jerden's plight.
Diary notes from Eden:
Jan. 14 - We arrived in New Jersey at 2PM. We were met by the Topps (Andy and Erica) with Romeo Abenoja, our Filipino host. Erica gave Jerden a cuddly bear and a Pooh balloon while she gave me a card and a bouquet of fresh red roses.
Jan. 15 - Jerden was brought to Hackensack University Medical Center at 9PM and was diagnosed to have Pneumonia. Tests were done such as EKG, Chest X-ray, blood test. She was also given oxygen and respirator/nebulizer because she has difficulty in breathing. She was released at 3AM.
Jan. 16 - Henrietta Abenoja bought Jerden's antibiotics and everything she needed while under observation at home. She has been very kind to us and treated us like her own family.
Jan. 17 - Jerden is doing fine now. She's reacting positively to the antibiotics. The Abenojas bought her baby foods and promised to buy her candies and go to New York City once she gets well. They even asked her to call them Mommy and Papa/Daddy. Andy, Karen and Erica Topp have been getting in touch with us always. They have never let a day passed without calling us. I'm just praying now that everything will be fine until her surgery on Jan. 22 and that she recovers immediately so we can go home to her sister.
Jan. 22 - Jerden was admitted at the Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York, for a series of tests in preparation for her surgery. The Abenojas and Mr. Shondfeld, the president of Bergenfield Rotary Club accompanied us to the hospital. I was so touched with the kindness that these people are extending to us. I also met Dr. Henry Issenberg and assured me of 100% success of the surgery.
Jan. 23 - At 7AM, Jerden will undergo a cardiac catheterization. Surgery is scheduled tomorrow.
Jan. 24, from Eden's friend Grace - "Dear Bo Eric,
I talked to Eden's cousin, Maggie, today January 24, Maggie was with Eden while Jerden was undergoing the heart surgery. She told me that Jerden is now in ICU under observation."
"Jerden may leave the hospital tomorrow if no complications occured. Maggie was so proud with the courage Eden had shown while Jerden was having the surgery, I know Eden is really trying to be brave for her daughter. Both Eden and Jerden are excited to go home". /Grace
Jan 24, Eden continues: - Jerden's surgery date.
7:00AM - I met Dr. Tang, the anesthesiologist, before Jerden was wheeled to PICU.
7:30AM - Surgery started. I stayed with Jerden until she was fully sedated and closed her her eyes. She was crying. Maggie, my cousin, and I were also crying. I was afraid and worried. The hardest thing was to wait in the Family Room.
11:00AM - Dr. Crooke notified us that everything was okey and we were advised to proceed ot the 10th flr. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Although I already know what I was going to see based on Dajed's pictures, I still cried when I saw her for the first time. Maggie and her husband also cried seeing Jerden in such situation. She was conscious, cried, asked me to hold her hands and told me that she was hurt and wounded. She has lots of tubes in her groin, abdomen, everywhere.
3:00PM - She was given Morphine as pain reliever and fell asleep. She had a slight fever, was given Tylenol and Lasix. Dr. Issenberg told us that everything was fine. She had mucus secretions everytime she would threw up which was normal after the surgery. Dr. Stock, the head of PICU told us not to worry and it's good for her if she cough the phlegm out.
5:00PM - She was extubated and could already lie down on her own.
Jan 26, Eden continues: Dr. Issenberg & Dr. Crooke told me that she would be discharged that day. She will be back on Feb. 1, Friday for another chest x-ray and check-up with her doctors. I was also told that we can already go back to the Philippines the night after. They were surprised with Jerden's speedy recovery, she was already singing and playing by herself. I have extended my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Issenberg because he was the one who evaluated Jerden's chart. He asked me to send him Jerden's pictures. It was nice talking to him.
Click for Jerden's U.S. Photo Menu!
Jan. 27, Sun 13:31:04 EST. From Erica, Rotary/GOL New Jersey:
"Bo- I went to see Jerden yesterday. She is in the brand new Pediatric Critical Care Unit of the New Montefiore Children's Hospital and was discharged yesterday, ONLY on the third day after surgery. I think that is a GOL record! She was very quiet, but in good spirits."
"Eden is also well, she did seem a bit drained, but happy to be leavng the hospital. I will keep you updated as I can." --Erica
Jan 27, Eden continues: Jerden's first day at our host family home after the surgery. She was already running around and has a good appetite. She still has cough and phlegm and complained of stomach pain. I gave her Tylenol and Lasix and Polyvisol vitamins.
Jan 28, Eden continues: - We had finally met Jerden's other angels of mercy, the Bergenfield/Dupont Rotary Club members during their meeting. I thanked them for their help and told them that I'll be forever grateful and they will always be remembered. All of them wanted to bring us out, I said yes but after the check-up when she has completely recovered. We went to Manhattan, NY to visit the relatives of my host family and gave Jerden some presents for her speedy recovery. We were requested to come back before leaving. Maggie did not leave us, I was so touched with her kindness. She left Friday night. They have already showed us around.
Follow-up article, written by Donna S. Queto, Inquirer News Service
Link to INQUIRER Article, February 3, 2002
The INQUIRER is one of the leading newspapers in the Philippines.
The links will open a new window on your screen.
Feb 5 - Eden and Jerden are coming home on Feb. 10 (N.Y. time) and will arrive in Manila at on Feb 11, Monday 10:20 P.M. Everything is going well with Jerden.
Feb 10 - Jerden's mother Eden, contacted BOES.ORG September 5, 2001, about her little daughter's hard need for a lifesaving surgery. Right now while Jerden after her successful operation flies above the clouds, she does not know, how a big boy aged 4, at the very same moment, flies from Europe to meet his help for a better life, for survival, by the same heart specialists, her doctors, in New York.
Within a number of hours she will meet her loved sister Joie and her friends, waiting at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines
Feb 12, from Eden's friend Grace - "Eden and Jerden arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines, last Monday night at 10:53" ( -0800 PST).
"Joie was so excited waiting for her mom and sister and she was overjoyed when she saw them both."
"Jerden was speechless when she saw us while Eden gave us both a hug."
"We are all glad that they are really home and that Jerden is cured." /grace
Click for Jerden's U.S. Photo Menu!
Jerden-Updates, June 20, 2002
Incoming letters, from Rotary Club of Bergenfield/Dumont.
"The Rotary Club of Bergenfield/Dumont, NJ, USA is proud to have had the opportunity to save another life. We thank you for your efforts to assist us in this goal."
"It takes everyone to be on the same page to bring this kind of project to a positive lifesaving conclusion."
"Sincerely, Membership, The Rotary Club of Bergenfield/Dumont, NJ, USA" /Feb 2002
"Again thank you for your untiring efforts for assisting Rotary International District 7490 and its Gift of Life program."
"You helped make this happen! We just took the next step. That is what we do best! "
"You and your website are what humanitarians are all about. Keep up the good work! Best Regards, Bob R. Markarian, P.P. Chairman, Gift of Life Foundation" /Feb 2002