Public responds to save nine-year-old's life

Take note – story published 9 years and 5 months ago

Nine-year-old Dāvis, a Latvian boy suffering from a rare, but not altogether unique lymph-drainage disorder that is threatening his life, must get operated on at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia in the United States, therefore the Health Ministry regulations cannot formally cover any of the costs of his extremely delicate and expensive surgery outside of the EU.

However his cause has mobilized the Latvian public in just three days' time to donate €245,000 - almost the entire sum needed to send him to the states, and get him urgently into the only doctors’ hands who have the experience and equipment required to save his life, report all the nation's media Monday.

The overwhelming response to the aid of the stricken child has inspired Health Ministry officials to try to nevertheless promise some form of state support for Dāvis. They have gotten “intensively” in touch with the bursar’s office at the hospital in Philadelphia to help pave the way for Dāvis reservation and the staff’s preparations at the exclusive clinic, the only place where the procedure is available.

The Philadelphia clinic in fact cut the price in half in light of Dāvis' situation, as LTV news program Panorāma briefly tried to zoom in on the paperwork indicating the true cost of the boy's operation and twenty-day stay (projected on his unpredictable rate of recovery) in the American hospital, which is said to be twenty times the cost of a hospital bed-night in Latvia.

To emphasize the fact that the operation is truly not available anywhere on the European continent, already ahead of Dāvis in Philadelphia are two young male child patients just like him from Belgium and Germany, according to Liene Dambiņa, a spokesperson for Children's University Hospital of Riga.

Indeed, had a suitably experienced team of doctors with the proper equipment been available in a European country, which alas it was not, Health Ministry regulations would have allowed the costs to be covered.

Health Minister Guntis Belēvičs has also vowed to find a way for the state to help the boy.

Already the state forestry agency Latvijas valsts meži announced it would contribute the remaining necessary funds to get Dāvis checked in to Philadephia Children's.

As for the brave patient himself, he has been watching the donations accrue on the internet site dedicated to his case. “He’s big enough to understand what’s going on,” says his mother Baiba, who expressed overwhelming surprise and gratitude for the response.

National airline airBaltic also expressed every intention of facilitating Dāvis’ medically-assisted trans-Atlantic flight there and back.


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