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Dave Bancal: A story of hope and survival


Dave's cheeks are glowing, his nails are pinkish too. He smiles sweetly, talks a lot and sings happily while waiting for the result of the 2D Echo examination at the Philippine Heart Center. He needs the test to make sure that his heart is functioning well after undergoing a major surgery. He looks a lot better now compared with how he looked before the operation.

Dave was born ten years ago. He is the middle child of Danilo and Mary Christine Bancal's three children. Christian Dave who resides in Cavite, was only six months old when his parents noticed that something is wrong with him. Dave used to cry without a sound.

“Hindi namin agad siya napatingnan sa doktor dahil wala naman kaming pera. Limang taon na siya nang dalhin namin siya sa doktor. Nalaman namin na may diperensiya ang puso ng aming anak”, said Danilo.

Tetralogy of Fallom (TOF) or a hole in his heart, is what ails Dave.This is a common disease that inflicts children, causing them to be called "blue babies." Experts say persons with TOF only lived for 14 years when untreated.

Life was not easy for the Bancal family. Dave's mother was forced to look for a job while Danilo takes care of Dave and their other children.Because Dave was so weak, his father would carry him everyday to school. Dave could not even stand from his seat when he was called by his teachers to recite.

"Pero kahit ako maysakit, lagi akong first honor. Grade 1 at Grade 2, first honor ako lagi kahit mahina ang katawan ko at kahit may butas ang puso ko. Hindi nga lang ako makapaglaro sa school kasi madali akong mapagod noong hindi pa ako naooperahan” Dave narrated.

The Bancal couple had no means to pay for Dave's expensive treatment and they thought Dave will never get better. This changed last April when Mark, a neighbor of Dave's, invited him to watch a campaign rally of Sen. Manny Villar who was then running for the presidency. Mark carried Dave to the campaign venue hoping the senator would see the sick child.

Villar was not able to see Dave during the rally but they were able to let him know of Dave's condition. Villar Foundation acted promptly and Dave was operated on at the Philippine Heart Center.  

“Iyak ng iyak si Mama at Papa noong inooperahan ako. Ang dami kasing nakakabit na tubo sa katawan ko pagkatapos. Pero ako, hindi ako kinabahan. Hindi rin ako nasaktan”, Dave said, who was confined at the hospital for 11 days. 

Dave's heart operation was a success. At present, his doctors continue to monitor his condition. He is now starting to live a normal life as a child.

“Ngayon nakakapaglaro na ako. Taguan, takbuhan. Lahat nagagawa ko na. wag lang yung tumalon ng mataas. Hindi na rin ako kinakarga ni Papa sa school. Hindi na rin ako napapagod at hinihingal,” he added.

Recently, Dave visited Villar to personally thank him for the help. He brought with him his medals. He told the senator about his dream to become a doctor someday so he could help poor people who are sick. He referred to Villar as his angel.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa lahat ng mga tumulong kay Dave. Lalo na sa Villar Foundation sa pagbalikat ng bayarin sa operasyon ni Dave at sa kanyang mga gamot. Pati na rin ang mga doktor na tumingin sa kanya,” Danilo said.

The Bancal Family is hoping for Dave's full recovery so that he could fulfil his dreams in the future and become somebody else's angel.

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