It was then Thursday (March 28, 2013) morning, when I received a text message from an unknown number saying “This is the sister of Joanne, I am texting you if you can go to our house and visit her due to her worsening illness.” I was then at Tinago Falls, busy in capturing some photos when I receive this. Upon living at the said place, I directly contacted a friend of mine about Joanne’s condition. I told her, if she had the time we need to pay visit to her that afternoon, with no further ado she texted me that she is available that day. At around 2 pm, I picked Norhairah at the University together with her friend, and directly went to Joanne’s place. We were stricken at what our eyes had seen. Our friend really got worsens since the day we met her last two months ago. When we entered at their abode, and see her condition, I feel shocked and I couldn’t barely see her due to the situation she has on that day. Even my friend was also shocked. She hardly has this hard breathing, her skin became black, and she is lying at the bed like a lifeless body. Only that she is breathing poorly. Due to unknowledgeable about what’s going on, we call Aisah, our friend who works at the hospital to see her right away. I got out from Joanne’s house and picked Aisah from the place she works at. When I and Aisah got there, Aisah suddenly cried of Joanne’s condition, she could not believe it as well of what she had gone through. We were asking, why they didn’t put her in the hospital for further treatment. The family replied that they don’t have enough money to put her on medication. As far as we observe Joanne’s family, they seem to be prepared of what is going to happen to her. They were prepared for her death. We, as a friend, of course don’t have the right to blame her family, but we are concerned of taking her to the hospital for her to see by the specialist at the hospital. Her father was immensely loss all his hopes, and told us that they are only waiting for her death. As he said, her body is most likely can’t handle it. Upon hearing those words from a father, we almost bow our head for frustration of why they are doing this to joan. We, friends of her, were still hoping that there might be another possibility that she could live another day if a doctor see her. We tried to convince them to take her to the hospital, but they loss all their hopes. We cannot do anything because we are just mere friends. Her family will be the one who decides mostly about her. We live on that full of questions, and could not believe of what our eyes had seens.
Our friend, Joanne, was fighting from this monstrous disease called LUPUS for almost three years now. From a medical perspective, Systemic lupus erythematosus, often abbreviated to SLE or lupus, is a systemic autoimmune disease (or autoimmune connective tissue disease) that can affect any part of the body. As occurs in other autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. It is a Type III hypersensitivity reaction in which antibody-immune complexes precipitate and cause a further immune response.
SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35, and is also more common in those of non-European descent.
There is no cure for SLE. It is treated with immunosuppression, mainly with cyclophosphamide, corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants. SLE can be fatal. Survival for people with SLE in the United States, Canada, and Europe has risen to approximately 95% at five years, 90% at 10 years, and 78% at 20 years, and now approaches that of matched controls without lupus.
Childhood systemic lupus erythematosus generally presents between the ages of 3 and 15, with girls outnumbering boys 4:1, and typical skin manifestations being butterfly eruption on the face and photosensitivity.
Lupus is Latin for wolf. In the 18th century, when lupus was just starting to be recognized as a disease, it was thought that it was caused by the bite of a wolf. This may have been because of the distinctive rash characteristic of lupus. (Once full-blown, the round, disk-shaped rashes heal from the inside out, leaving a bite-like imprint.)
Fortunately, the next day Joanne’s uncle had decided to put her in the hospital. Almost all of us breathed calmly and relief because of her family’s decision. We visited her at the hospital, it was then unfortunate because we’ve seen her at the lobby of the hospital, only to find out that all rooms were totally occupied by number of patients. A doctor seen her, and told her family that she needs a dialysis due to kidney failure. Her mother was totally at lost, having a problem on how to get money for such medication. We’ve tried to contact our friends and ask help, some of them helped us, even provide Joan a security that if she will be transferred to Northern Mindanao, she will be given a proper financial support. However, her family again decided to return her at home to wait for her final breath. We, friends of her were totally against this, because we have this thought that she might get well if she will be treated to a hospital with higher facilities. Joane has been fighting this disease but due to her environment, it made her illness worst. She’s been a friend of ours for almost nine years. We have seen her the possibility of being someone in the near future. She also has this strong determination to give her child a good future and prove to her ex-husband that she can give a good education for her child without him. She is a prideful one, and a leader with an enthusiast. But it saddened us that that kind of talent were wasted because of an illness that had brought her to her last breath.
The next day, they finally decided to put her to another hospital with the consent of her mother-in-law. We, her friend go with them in order to help them as much as we can. Joanne gone through with ct scan, xray, blood test, sugar test, and further test to see her needs. The doctor at first observation declared her having a brain damaged. One of our friend, burst up with anger saying “how come they declared that when in fact they didn’t have done the ct scan before declaring that.” We could understand her with that kind of reaction because she felt uneasy, worried and sick of her situation. All of us, her friends, were tired from all the work and travel we’ve gone through, we got home in order for us to rest, after a few hours, her cousin texted us “that according to the test, she already had a severe multiple organs failure. The only organs that work properly currently was her liver. The dialysis that is meant for her kidney was only a support to extend her life, but not a security that she will live linger.” We cannot believe about the result, as if they were saying that she could not live any longer. We’ve waited for any further news, and later that afternoon, Joanne’s mother decided to bring her back home in the since that her body could no longer endure the pain. The doctor predicted that Joanne will just live until that evening, Sunday March 31, 2013. That afternoon, a stricken news got all of us a shock. We could not believe it that she no longer with us. She died on that evening.
Death is really something that is happening without any notices. Joanne was the one that was taken from us, but even we accept it or not. She just gone ahead of us in the journey of the unknown. We surely gonna miss her.