OUR JOURNEYS

Patient story

Dr. Felix Laura

introduced by Yusetty Ovalle

Felix wrote his story before he died.

I was born in the Dominican Republic in a rural community of San Cristobal. At the age of two, I was diagnosed with an unusual congenital heart problem. My parents were told that I had only months or at minimum a year to live. From that day forward and to the present mine has been a battle with death. In 1992, I started my career in medicine and I learned that my congenital defect could have been corrected at its early stages, but unfortunately was not. Currently, I have developed severe pulmonary hypertension and since the year 2000 I have been treating this illness with a drug called Flolan (Sodium Epoprostenol), which is administered through a catheter. Thanks to this drug, I have been able to lead a normal life. I have been able to further my studies, specializing in internal medicine and clinical psychology and have a master’s in the field of sexual therapy.

Thankfully, I have been able to acquire Flolan as a result of donations that I have been able to obtain from the publicity generated about my illness in the Dominican Republic. However, because the economic situation in the Dominican Republic has become critical and economic resources have been depleted, I have immigrated to the United States. In my country, the cost of caring for a patient with pulmonary hypertension is around $100,000.00 per year, $8,333.00 a month. I am therefore requesting your help and solidarity. Without this medication, I cannot continue living and it would surely lead to the end.

Felix expired last Saturday July 19th. He was a very loving and caring person. He only wanted to live.

 

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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.