Writing again. I finally got put on some ADHD medicine and I'm remembering things a lot better than I used to. But that's not what I'm writing about today. One of my friends on Discord just found out he might have heart cancer. He's already been through enough. His abusive family continues to plague him even in adulthood, and he's been shot at least once (over a f***ing toaster, no less, which of course his family berated him for), and just.... He doesn't deserve this. All my friends in that server are breaking down and having trouble processing it. It's causing us to start infighting and talking about leaving the server. I just.... How the hell are we supposed to process the information that someone we cared about for so long might die soon?
Apologies for sending another letter, but last time I wrote was about a friend who was potentially deep in medical issues, and now I'm writing to say it's worse than we thought. He NEEDS a blood transfusion, but his Jehovah's Witness family refuse him getting it (despite him being a functioning adult.) I'd be horrified but considering everything else he's said about them I'm convinced they want him dead by any means other than directly killing him. The problem is, he's all the way in the Philippines, far from anyone on the server who could help him. We have no idea what to do. The closest thing to a plan we have is a GoFundMe, but we have no idea how to get the money to him. For once I'm actually starting to break down because I'm never gonna forgive myself if a friend dies a preventable death because he wasn't able to get the treatment he needed .
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Very sorry to hear about your friend in the Philippines. You don’t say whether he is Filipino or another nationality who happens to live in the Philippines. If he is Filipino, he should have access to their national health care system. I’m guessing, though, that he is perhaps an American living with his family there. You also say that he is a “functioning adult,” which I take to mean he is over 18? It is possible that he is covered under his parents’ insurance, which you can be included on if you are an American up to the age of 26, thanks to Obamacare laws.
If he is under 18, his parents would be breaking the law by not caring for him. It is called “medical neglect of a child” and it applies to all Americans even if you are a Jehovah’s Witness. Jehovah’s Witnesses misinterpret chapter 9 of the Book of Genesis in which God prohibits the eating of meat that still has blood in it. That has nothing to do with blood transfusions, which of course did not exist at the time. Now, if your friend himself refused the blood transfusion because of his beliefs, such a procedure could not be forced upon him, but it sounds like he wants it.
If he is not on his parents’ insurance, he could purchase some on his own. There are several companies that offer policies for those living abroad, including Blue Shield, Aetna, and Cigna. However, money is obviously a major concern.
Assuming the worst-case scenario, then we have this to deal with: He is over 18; his parents won’t help him; he has no insurance. Now, that is a huge problem. To get medical care in the Philippines you must have a health plan—and most people, including expats, go with PhilHealth. This should have been taken care of long ago if he was going to live in a foreign country. Here is an excellent explanation of the health system in the Philippines.
As for your helping him with money: have him set up a PayPal account if he doesn’t already have one, and you can funnel money to him that way (and if he doesn’t have a bank account, he should get one). You could also wire money to him using Western Union.
In the end, there is only so much you can do, especially if your friend did not adequately plan for life overseas. This is an excellent lesson for those reading this column about preparing for the worst if you are traveling in a foreign land or planning on an extended stay away from your home country. You should always do research on what to do if there is a medical emergency.
As for the other stuff…. I mean, being shot because of a toaster? What? And heart cancer? That is an extremely rare condition. It sounds as if you are uncertain of the diagnosis. I think you need a lot more information about what is going on with your friend before you start sending money.
I will hope for the best for your friend.
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