A Peruvian woman suffering from elephantiasis, a disease characterized by extreme swelling which can severely disfigure sufferers, is expected to arrive in Taiwan next month for treatment. Her expenses are being covered by the government and a hospital, one of the doctors who will operate on her said yesterday.
Thanks to the support she is receiving in Taiwan, Mercedes Ordinola will finally get the treatment she needs, said Pedro Ciudad, a Peruvian doctor on a fellowship study at China Medical University in Taiwan, in a telephone interview.
Though a full assessment of Ordinola’s condition will be made after she arrives on June 2, Ciudad said that Ordinola was diagnosed with congenital lymphedema, commonly known as elephantiasis.
The doctor explained that Ordinola has not received any medical attention, because of the extreme costs associated with treatment. The delay in seeking help has not only caused severe malformation of her foot, but also seriously impeded her mobility.
Months ago, her story caught the attention of Taiwan’s trade office in Peru, which passed a request for assistance back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei.
With free round-trip tickets from the government, Ciudad said he is set to fly back to Peru and bring Ordinola to Taiwan for a planned four-month surgical and medical round of treatment at the hospital.
While all medical expenses are to be covered by the China Medical University, some overseas Taiwanese residing in Peru have also contributed, he said.