MANILA - A newborn, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia, is now one step closer to acquiring much-needed treatment in the United States.
In a Facebook post by Department Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato on Sunday, he said the agency was able to give Maverick Sevrin "Sevy" Co his passport just a few days after it was processed.
"Now, all he needs is his visa from the United States Embassy so he could be flown to the St. Jude's Cancer Research Center in Memphis for treatment," Cato wrote.
Sevy's parents told INQUIRER.net on Monday morning that they were waiting for the expedited approval for the US visa appointment for the newborn.
"Clarifying with embassy if Baby Sevy needs to be present at the interview given his condition that he is at the [ICU]," they added.
Sevy's parents and his doctors agreed to take the most direct flights bound for Memphis with the shortest stops to limit his exposure.
They added that they were coordinating with Philippine Airlines' medical and special handling team for all the logistical requirements for Baby Sevy.
The newborn will be cradled by his parents through the duration of the flight given that an incubator will not be available on the plane.
Baby Sevy will be travelling with medical equipment such as two infusion pumps, one for the IV drip and another one for his antibiotics and other medicines.
"He will be on medical [oxygen] and will carry an infant CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) kit accompanied by Sevy's [two] physicians," they added.
Baby Sevy has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia(ALL).
"In layman's terms, (ALL is) a blood cancer that doesn't let him form enough of platelets (healing/clotting) and produce way too much White blood cells (fight infection)," Sevy's parents shared in an earlier Facebook post.
Baby Sevy has been receiving blood transfusions since December 29, 2018, only a day after he was born.
It was on January 7 when the parents of Baby Sevy, Don and Ria Co, appealed for help, through the Facebook page "SAVING Sevy," for the immediate processing of his passport and US visa so that he can be flown to the United States for treatment at the St. Jude Research Center in Memphis, Tennessee.
"It is time critical as the facility wants no chemo treatment administered to him so it will be their full protocol working on [Sevy]," they added.
On the same day, the DFA sent a consular team to the Manila Doctors Hospital, where the newborn is currently being taken care of, after the appeal of Sevy's parents reached the agency.
"The team arrived shortly after 6 p.m. and began processing Baby Sevy's passport application right inside the neonatal intensive care unit where he was been confined since his birth 10 days ago," Cato shared in a Facebook post on January 7.
For the time being, Baby Sevy needs Type O positive blood every eight hours. Donors may contact his parents through the number 09988642500.