Hi, I am Dillon and I am 16 years old.
I fell sick on 16 August 2017 with severe back pain, knee pain and headache. I was very sick for three weeks and could not attend school. I was worried as I was doing my 'O' levels this year. I thought it was flu with severe muscle ache and that it would go away after three weeks. I visited four doctors who prescribed me medicine to treat the flu symptoms and pain killers. My pain persisted and in fact got worse as each day passed.
On 6 September 2017, I was admitted to National University Hospital. They took my full blood count and my white blood cell count showed an abnormally high reading of 51.78 (normal blood count should be between 3.84 - 10.01). On the same day, peripheral blood film laboratory test confirmed that I had acute leukemia. I was terrified.
From 6 September to 18 September 2017, I was hospitalised and underwent chemotherapy. I suffered nausea, vomitting, giddiness, loss of appetite and hair loss. The total charges for this bill was $22,956.69. Thankfully this bill was covered by government subsidies, medisave and medishield insurance.
From 21 September to 29 September 2017, I was admitted to National University Hospital again as I had develped a high fever and needed to be treated for infection. I had very low immunity following chemotherapy and was prone to fever and infection. This second hospital bill amounted to $10,401.77. Fortunately, it was covered by government subsidies, medisave and medishield.
Both my parents had to go for KIR Genotyping and HLA typing to see whether they are suitable lymphocyte and bone marrow donors. The total bill for the various tests amounted to about $2,000 payable by cash.
I was again admitted to National University Hospital on 24 October to 31 October 2017 for second chemotherapy. This bill amounted to $83,813.60. My father was told that he had to pay cash of $77,643.60 as clofarabine was non standard drug and not covered by medisave and medishield insurance. Due to my high risk acute leukemia condition, standard chemotherapy drugs would not be effective and doctors had to use this very strong drug to wipe out the leukemia cells. I suffered more this time round with more vomitting, giddiness, stomach upset and very low blood pressure during and after the infusion of chemotherapy drugs. I could not sleep the entire night after the first infusion and doctors and nurses had to check on me the whole night due to my strong reaction to the drug. I was scared, anxious and overwhelmed by the strong effect of this drug. I felt very weak and had stomachace that prevented me from eating much after the chemotherapy.
After this chemotherapy, I will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy and will incur further medical expenses. Doctors estmate that my total medical bill will be around $200,000 as bone marrow transplant is a high risk procedure and extremely costly.
My family and I will like to appeal to the public for their generous support during this very dfficult and tumultuous period. It is a very heavy cross for me to carry but carry it I must for my own sake, my parents and family who have been immensely supportive of me. However, my family is financially strapped by my hard to treat and costly illness. The impact of this illness is like a tornado that sweeps me off my feet. I wish that I can recover fast and go back to my normal life. I hope that I can continue with my studies. I will like to battle this terrible illness and live on.
Any donation however small will be appreciated and remembered with heartfelt gratitude. Thank you very much.