MANILA - Even in death, Joy Pascua showed her generosity by ensuring that others get the chance to live, donating 7 of her organs.
“Up to the last moment, Joy really made us proud and happy that she was able to give lives pa rin to a few more people,” said her sister Cristine Pascua Perez.
Perez said her sister, 44, died on Dec. 12, two days after she suffered what doctors said was a catastrophic massive brain aneurysm.
In an interview on Teleradyo on Saturday morning, she said that prior to her sister’s death, Pascua told her daughter and partner that she would like to donate her organs.
“My sister was a very generous person. She lived in New York for the last 20 years, but her work was fully towards talaga helping people. She worked with the churches… talagang service for others, woman of action talaga ang sister ko,” said Perez.
Perez said that her sister was able to donate one of her lungs, both of her kidneys, her pancreas, liver, her tonsils, cornea, skin tissue and bone marrow.
“Sobrang happy kami sa ginawa niya, super proud sister,” she said.
Her sister, she said, was given the honor walk for being the first person to donate multiple organs at Phelps Hospital in New York.
“Parang may parade to honor her generosity and heroic deed. Ang gandang tingnan, ang gandang pakinggan, nakaka-proud,” said Perez.
(It was like a parade to honor her generosity and heroic deed. It was beautiful to see, to hear and made us proud.)
Dr. Romina Danguilan of the Regalo Organ Donation Advocacy Group underscored the importance of organ transplant in the Philippines.
“Gusto po natin mas damihan po natin ang kidney transplant, liver transplant and very soon po 'yung lung transplant puwede na pong gawin sa Pilipinas,” said Danguilan.
(We want to increase kidney and liver transplants. Very soon we'll be able to do lung transplant in the Philippines.)
Danguilan said the National Kidney and Transplant Institute is informed by a hospital of a potential organ donor. They then send a team to the hospital to evaluate the condition of the potential donor and get the consent of the family of a brain-dead patient.
“The outcome of our transplanted patients is so good. The 1-year up to 7-year outcome is so high. The survival is more than 95 percent up to 7 years,” she said.
For Perez, what her sister did was a "good gift" to extend someone's life.
"We're all very happy and very proud that our Joy was one of those people who were able to give that especially now that it's Christmas season," she said.
An obituary page for Manila-born Pascua described her as a "passionate mother, partner, confidant, singer, and more, and when she wasn’t filling her home with warmth and kindness, she could be found speaking to family and friends on the phone, providing aid as a web marketing manager for Episcopal Relief and Development, or creating videos for her beloved former musical group, Bukas Palad."