Exclusive: Local doctors treat child in Philippines with deadly health issue

A 2-year-old girl with a distended belly seeks treatment from NW Ohio doctors in the Philippines.

Northwest Ohio medical professionals volunteering their time following the typhoon have to make life-changing decisions for patients in the Philippines whom they have met for the first time.

A 2-year-old girl suffered a distended belly, according to Maumee doctors. The group from Northwest Ohio had moved their make-shift clinic Wednesday from a weather-battered sports arena to a community center in the village of New Washington. One of the patient's condition concerned other doctors in the group.

"We got to get her to the hospital," Dr. Richard Paat of Maumee said.

Dr. Gary Gladieux asked Dr. Paat for his opinion on the child's health. The little girl's mother said her daughter had just been released from the hospital despite her condition.

Dr. Paat told WNWO's Jim Blue, "the kid could probably die in the next day if [the hospital doesnâ??t] treat her...Why she's got an abscess? We're not sure."

Gladieux added, "That distended abdomen has been there for some months...but now she has a fever."

Their limited supplies brought to the Philippines from the U.S. could not treat the girl, so they decided to give the sick girl's family enough money to take her back to the hospital.

The doctors said they still fear the child may ultimately receive a leukemia diagnosis, but without their help, the toddler would have certainly died in the next few days.

Dr. Paat organized the group's week trip to the island of Panay, in the Philippines after he learned of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

WNWO's Jim Blue is the only Toledo-area reporter covering the relief efforts in the Philippines.

Continue to watch WNWO News at 6 or 11 p.m. for the latest of Jim's exclusive reports.