MANILA -- Michael Alvin Soriano, the father of baby girl Miaka, shared how his daughter bravely fought but unfortunately lost her battle against the congenital liver disease, biliary atresia.
In an interview with radio dzMM's "Aksyon Ngayon" on Friday, an emotional Soriano said Miaka passed away last December 29 after nine months of struggling with her disease.
Biliary atresia is a rare liver disease that affects newborn infants, in which the bile ducts are deficient or inflamed and thus unable to drain the bile from the liver.
A liver transplant operation, which is needed in this kind of disease, is not widely available in the Philippines.
For months, Soriano, with the help of Aksyon Ngayon, had been gathering funds for his daughter's transplant operation in Taiwan.
Everything had already been set, he said, and they were just waiting to fill the P800,000 worth of cash needed for Miaka's operation.
Soriano said they were in Laguna, his wife Grace's hometown, when Miaka passed away on a Sunday morning due to internal heavy bleeding.
"Nasa bahay lang po kami. Mga around 8:30 ng Sunday, normal routine po, painumin ng gamot si baby Miaka, masaya po siya," he said.
"Mga bandang 8:30 a.m. nakatingin si baby Miaka kay Grace. Sabi nga ni Grace 'Good morning, baby Miaka. I love you.' Nagulat na lang po kami nung bubuhatin ni Grace si baby Miaka, napakaraming dugo na... Hindi namin maintindihan yung pakiramdam nung oras na yun," he recalled.
They then rushed Miaka to a hospital in Sta. Rosa where he said he saw their baby fight until the last one and a half hours of her life.
"Hindi siya umiiyak nung nasa ER (emergency room). Parang nilalakasan niya yung loob niya," he said.
While they are still grieving over the death of Miaka, their lone child, Soriano said he and his wife are also somehow relieved that their daughter is no longer suffering.
He also said that he will make sure that the donations they had received for the supposed liver transplant operation of Miaka will not go to waste, adding that he will give the money to families of other babies suffering from biliary atresia.
"Hindi dito magtatapos yung journey ni Miaka. Kasi kami rin mismo ni Grace...hindi kami papayag na mabalewala lahat ng tumulong kay baby Miaka," Soriano said.
"Andun yung focus namin na kung ano yung meron si Miaka talagang ibibigay namin o itutulong namin. Hindi kami papayag na wala itong mailigtas na buhay," he added.