Friday, Mar 05

Hope for a successful surgery for Michael

June 13, 2019 | Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines

Tzu Chi volunteer Ting Ting Pua checked on Michael's condition from time to time. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • Michael Mahusay has borne a large lump on his face for two years. After a series of unfortunate events, he hope to return to normal life with a surgery in Taiwan.


The left side of Michael Mahusay’s face started growing a lump in 2016, his mother’s relatives in Cebu sent Php20,000 to his aunt to pay for his surgery, but his aunt used the money to pay off her debts instead. Michael, 25, a native of Daanbantayan, Cebu cannot do anything except to continue working as a porter in downtown Manila’s busiest markets while the lump on his face kept on growing to the point that it was hard for him to chew due to the displaced jaws. He can only eat porridge, rice, and vegetables.

Michael’s employer got wind of Tzu Chi’s medical mission at Pedro Guevara Elementary School and advised him to give it a try. He was scheduled for surgery again in 2018 after the medical mission. But the doctor who was supposed to perform the surgery on him had fallen ill and went to Taiwan for his own treatment.

Although Michael’s surgery didn’t push through, he was financially supported by the Tzu Chi foundation monthly with volunteer Pua Ting Ting overseeing his needs.

“I see a lot of people who are unable to seek treatment in the early stage of their illness due to financial restrain, but a simple illness can lead to their demise,” she said.

With the Ting Ting’s constant concern on his case, Michael together with his elder brother and four Tzu Chi volunteers left for Taiwan on June 12 to have his surgery at Tzu Chi hospital in Taiwan.

  • Michael (far right) with other beneficiaries introduced during the monthly Charity Day activity on March. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • His brother Jay Darel (second from left) is the only one available to look after him in Manila. And he continues to do so as they fly to Taiwan for the long-awaited surgery. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • In Tzu Chi's recycling center in Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City, the two brothers pick out clothes to wear during their stay in Taiwan. They'll remain there for two months. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Michael starts packing his things into the bag provided for him by TingTing for his trip to Taiwan. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】