Long time ago, Erlinda gave birth to a baby girl. She and her husband, Armando named her Jennifer. Jennifer was not an ordinary child. Like any newly born baby who has rosy colored cheeks, with smooth silky skin, as well as pudgy arms and legs and with lips so endearing and pouty, she was born the opposite. She weighed only 4.5 lbs, with thin and scrawny extremities and born with Microtia.
Microtia is a congenital deformity affecting the outer ear where the ear is not fully develop. It is a smaller version of a normal sized ear with the same physical characteristics that contains a tiny external ear canal. Aside from Microtia, Jennifer also has a Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate. These birth defects are result of tissues of the face that are disjoin during development. A cleft lip holds an opening in the upper lip that may extend into the nose.
A cleft palate is when the roof of the mouth includes an opening into the nose.
With her rare condition, nobody ever thought that she can survive. She was incubated for a few months in the hospital and was delicately monitored by the doctors and nurses. She was visited by her parents everyday to spend quality time with her, play with her and let her feel that she was not away from home.
She went through several surgeries at a very young age to improve and recondition her cleft lip. With God’s grace, the doctors had a deep but successful operation. However her cleft palate was not retread because according to them, it would take an extensive time of more complicated procedure. During those times, medical facilities and technologies were limited and inadequate, it would take a huge amount of risk if the surgery will continue and her frail body might not be strong enough to bear the complexity of the surgical operation. It was a painful fact that the doctor’s diagnosis on her life span is up to 18 years old only. During her prolonged stay, Jennifer became the hospital’s sweetest little angel. Until such time came, she showed signs of improvement and development, her family were all excited because she was ready to go home.”Epey” as she is fondly called by her parents and siblings was well accepted by her family. She was adored and treated very special with overflowing love and tenderness. The doctor’s prognosis did not disheartened her parents from giving up on the thought that she only have short time to live. Every year, as she celebrates her birthday, her parents would bring her to Our Lady Of Manaoag in Pangasinan and beseech for Eternal Blessings and Divine Grace to add more years to their daughter’s life….
Heaven must have heard her parent’s wish…
Today, it’s been more than 18 years.. She is now 44 years old, although she was incapable of speaking, she is remarkably spirited. She is very cheerful, full of zest living in her own simple world, she loves listening to music and smiles everytime the music plays. She is amicable and friendly and loves to play with children. She is very much cherished by her friends and neighborhood who knew her and her family.
“Epey” is truly a Heaven Sent who relentlessly touch the lives and gives inspiration and optimism to those who are very special and close to her heart..
I am indeed blessed because I am one of them…
By the way, Erlinda is my mother..And yes, “Epey” is my older sister… 🙂
My Mother, Erlinda with my sister, Epey.. 🙂
You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you.. – George R.R. Martin