I survived death when I was five. Even the doctors didn’t know what really happened. I was blessed to have my mom and my dad, who never gave up and did everything they could to save me.
Below is a story. My mom wrote it in January 20, 1990 – two years before she died of cancer.
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Dean Ryan became restless dawn of November 25, 1989. He kept tossing in his bed and he seemed to be having trouble in breathing because of his colds. Since we ran out of Neozep Syrup, we gave him instead of Decolgen Tablet.
At about 6:30 AM, we bought Rondec DM, a decongestant syrup and gave him immediately two spoonfuls. I really didn’t mind his crying, as I thought it was just one of those boys-pranks.
As I was preparing for the office (it was Saturday), Rolly noticed that his son was stiffening his whole body – pale and cold – this later on I came to know as seizure. We decided to bring him to the Plant for check-up with the Plant Physician. I have to drive the car since DR was too heavy and Rolly could not make him sit because of stiffness.
Dr. Cagape did not report so we proceed to Davao Doctos Hospital (DDH). At the OPD, DR was already relax. The attending Pedia didn’t even notice anything wrong about my son. For observation purposes, however, she suggested to confine DR.
We got Dr. Iriarte an old-timer Pedia to check my son and because of the seizure, he referred the case to a Neurologist.
Dr. Pacioles came that evening – DR was already having a fever and after a thorough check up, he called for his dad and me at the lobby since DR’s room was full of relatives and visitors. His suspect was brain problem and suggested for a lumbar top and other tests.
The lumbar top was performed on that same night and results can be available after three hours. All the tests had negative results, but DR was still having seizures every 15 – 20 minutes and it was too painful seeing him grooming and crying with pain.
At about 6 AM of Nov. 26, Dr. Pacioles who was leaving for General Santos passed by our room and informed us the negative results of the lumbar top. At first, he thought of a bacterial problem or Meningitis, but because of the negative result he was still positive of his diagnosis. To confirm, a brain scanning was necessary of which it was not available in Davao but only in Cebu or Manila.
I just couldn’t put into writing how I feel that time. After weighing the pros and cons, we decided to airlifted DR to Makati Medical Center (MMC). Due to some documentation problems, we were able to fly on Tuesday, November 28.
The dextrose was taken out but the NGT was still in his nose when we flew. Upon arrival at Manila airport, we waited for the private ambulance hired by the Head Office. But it arrived late. Upon verification with HO nurse, we were still charged P400 pesos, half the contracted price for the airport to MMC route, when the actual amount we paid for the taxi was only P35. Imagine the difference!
At around 10:30 AM, we arrived MMC and we’re advised at the emergency department that there was no vacant room. Made representation that CCBI was the one who made the reservation for us. Right there and then, all the various examinations were performed. It took the doctors one hour after the IV was inserted.
At 3 PM, we were taken up to the seventh floor circular and got a P670 per day room. The accredited Pedia, Dr. Celdran called at around 5 PM and CT Scan was immediately scheduled and finished at around 7 PM. The attending Neurologist, Dr. Perez and Dr. Thelma Tupasi, Infectious Disease Specialist, along with their associates kept visiting our room. At around 7:30 PM, my sister from Calamba, Daphne, who was fetched by a friend Maribeth, arrived with our needed things such as plates, glasses, canned goods, etc. and most importantly, love and moral support.
Because of the seizure, the IV of my son kept bulging, so it needed to be inserted again and again. I just couldn’t count how many inserts DR had. He also had stress ulcer and had to be lavaged from time to time because of the blood coming out from his stomach thru his NGT.
All the tests in Davao were done again plus EEG of the brain, CT scan and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). It was the latest machine of MMC and it was just installed three months ago. My son was brought twice at the ground floor for the MRI test but the test results couldn’t be understood because DR slept only for about 20 minutes and the tests took 1.5 hours without interruption.
The Neurologist could not understand the CT Scan’s results- they saw a lesion at the back portion of DR’s brain. A disease which is common to older persons who drinks a lot without eating. The diagnosis in Davao which was Viral Encephalitis Dimyelinating disease could not be overruled at MMC. Two main medications were given, steroids and hormones.
Dr. Celdran even prescribed a medicine ACTH which he considered as a miracle medicine and could only be bought in Hong Kong or USA. I canvassed from all the big hospitals and drugstores in Manila but they had no stock ACTH. It’s a miracle from Above that the company physician of HO, Dr. Lugay was leaving for Hong Kong to check the DDS blood at the Prince of Wales Hospital, hence, we had the chance, yet he brought only 4 vials out of 10 because of its non-availability.
On the third day at Makati Medical Center (MMC), we transferred to a room at the 8th floor with a lower rate. MMC is noted as a class “A” hospital and my! The rates were class A too- you couldn’t just imagine our bills in 15 days. The services however was very satisfactory and the food was comparable with hotels. We used to buy food from their cooperatively eatery at the first floor since the price there is much affordable than with their floating restaurant at the third floor.
Friends and relatives visited us in the hospital and there were two groups that offered prayers and divine healing- comforting us with words.
Not to mentioned was the bloodiest coup de etat on December 1 – 7, wherein you can hear the exchanging of fires, guns, bombs and fighter plans at Ayala avenue. Government troops were using the open space in front of the MMC. Their base and wounded soldiers were brought there for treatment.
You couldn’t just imagine how busy the Emergency Department- Rolly had witnessed the event since he was one of those “uzi” (people who wants to get the latest news first) at the ground floor. Because of the coup, there were stoppage in transportation in the provinces, hence, Rolly was not able to visit his parents at Cabanatuan Nueva Ecija (A city in Luzon, a major island in the Philippines). On my part, I didn’t visit my sister in Calamba, Laguna (Still in Luzon, Philippines). Since the situation was complicated, my sister’s family were the ones who visited us in the hospital.
It had been nine years since my last visit in Manila. So when we went to Makati PAL Office for ticket reservation, we passed by the shopping centers. It’s wonderful especially at night, with all those glittering lights and decors- one could forget for a while that someone is sick in the family.
It was December 8 when the IV of DR was taken out and began to have his osterized food every three hours thru NGT. We were referred to another doctor, Dr. Reyes, a physical therapist but since we were going home to Davao- he referred us instead to Dr. Luchie Aportadera, a Rehabilitation doctor of Davao Doctors Hospital.
We took the first available flight to Davao on December 12. We directly proceeded to DDH and we stayed there for three days. Medications were done at home. I requested our Plant Nurse, Let-Let, to do the daily injection for one week. IM was done every other day by our neighbor, who happens to be a nurse.
With this big blow in my life, I came to know who my real friends are and luckily, there are a lot of them. Our GM advanced the plane fare while my officemates gave what their heart dictates. Although we have enough funds for our miscellaneous expenses and Rolly just received his Christmas bonus , we’re still thankful for their help and prayers.
Rollly became emotional when he received a call from his friend, Alex, informing us that there’s a transfer of funds spearheaded by the Joggers Club. I also received funds raised by the Bajada sales office personnel.
DR undergone physical therapy and speech training. Doctors visit every two weeks. Funds were also raised for him headed by the Ateneo de Davao University- Nursery Class. It reached P1500 pesos. His teacher visited him in January 16, 1990.