A mother’s love shapes cultures and individuals, their love and presence are vital to their children’s well-being. They are the recourse of their problematic child; their loving hands and caring hands are the safe haven and refuge that heals all the pain their child feels.
Ella Turing, a first-time mother, can’t hide her happiness now that she has a two-year-old child. According to her, she feels like she is in heaven whenever her child smiles at her. In her heart, she has a lot of dreams for her child, and she wants to witness all of it come true.
However, early this year, after breastfeeding her daughter, Turing felt a small tumor in her right breast. She grew scared thinking it was a cyst that might lead to cancer.
“I am a mother, and I am scared for my life because who will be there for my daughter if I die? I want to be with her until she grows up. That is why I really want this tumor to be removed,” says Turing.
Turing had wanted to consult a doctor about her tumor, but she doesn’t have enough money for a check-up.
“That is why when I found out that Tzu Chi Foundation will have a medical mission here in our community I immediately came because I really want this tumor to be out of my breast,” shares Turing.
Turing waited in line for more than two hours, but it was worth the wait. After a checkup with a Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) surgeon, she underwent a minor surgery that day.
The operation lasted less than an hour. After that, she went out the surgery room, freed of the tumor on her breast.
“I felt relieved after the operation. When I saw the tumor out of my chest, I felt so happy,” narrates Turing.
Turing expresses her gratitude to Tzu Chi Foundation for removing not only the tumor in her breast but also all the worries and fears that she had carried in her heart because of it.
“I am very grateful to Tzu Chi Foundation for granting my wish to be operated. It’s actually my first time to experience a medical mission like this. The equipment is complete, and the volunteers of Tzu Chi are caring and accommodating, as well as the doctors,” adds Turing.
Turing considers her surgery as the mark of a new life without any hesitations. She can now continue dreaming and working for her daughter’s future.
Another mother’s struggle was eased by Tzu Chi’s medical mission.
Lea Mahinay, a mother of five, has been deaf for more than 30 years. She almost drowned in a river in Masbate when she was just 15 years old. After that incident, she could no longer hear and speak loud.
Lea’s husband is in jail for abusing her and their children. That is why Lea is the one who provides for their family. She is a corn vendor who earns less than Php200 a day.
“My salary is not enough to cover our everyday needs. As much as I want to go to the doctor to have my condition checked, I don’t have enough money. As a mother, I will attend to my children’s needs first,” says Mahinay.
Because of her condition, Mahinay feels she is not doing well as a mother.
“There are times when I see my child crying. I can see their pain but I can’t hear their complaints. It hurts me as a mother that my own children can’t come to me whenever they need something or someone to talk to because their mother is deaf,” shares Mahinay.
When Mahinay found out that the medical mission of Tzu Chi in their community also provides free consultation for ear problems, she immediately went to the venue – the Pedro Guevarra Elementary School – hoping for a better outcome after a check-up.
Lea brings her fourth child Andrea Espinosa with her. Andrea says that she and her siblings want their mother to hear again.
“Other people are making fun of my mother because she is deaf. Whenever they are teasing her, my siblings and I are also affected,” says Andrea.
After Mahinay’s check-up, the doctor gave her a letter to present in claiming a free hearing aid at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital.
Mahinay was very happy when she found out that she will receive a hearing aid. Andrea was also grateful for the wonderful gift of Tzu Chi to her mother.
“I am very thankful to Tzu Chi Foundation. You help not only my mother but our whole family, as well. Thank you for giving her the chance to hear normally again!” says Andrea.
A volunteer nurse checks the blood pressure of Ella Turing before she undergoes a minor surgery.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Turing’s operation lasted less than an hour. Turing says the operations scared her but also made her excited, knowing that the tumor in her breast will be removed.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz 】
A Tzu Chi volunteer hands the medicines that Turing needs to take to prevent an infection. 【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Before the consultation, Lea Mahinay narrates how she lost her hearing. 【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
A volunteer doctor checks the ear of Lea Mahinay to determine if a hearing aid is still appropriate for Lea’s ear condition. 【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】