Filipino COVID-19 survivor turned to faith, family during trial

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2020 10:35 PM

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MANILA - Faith and family are among the motivators that can help those battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a Filipino man who recovered from the virus said Monday.

Identified only as PH36, the 53-year-old said that he held on to his faith he will be cured as he also had his family's support and credits the proper management of his attending physician and nurses.

"'Yung faith namin na ako ay gagaling, doon po kami kumapit ng pamilya," he told radio DZMM, aware that the disease is fatal to some.

(My family and I just held on to our faith that I will be healed.)

PH36 said that when he experienced difficulty in breathing last March 5, he decided to visit a private hospital in Las Pinas City where he was immediately confined.

After being told that his condition is a suspected COVID-19 case, he was transferred to a government hospital on March 8. The following day, swab samples were taken from him for testing.

On March 11, he was told of the positive result. Another swab samples were taken from him that day, which also yielded positive for the novel coronavirus, based on the result that came out on March 13.

"[Naiisip ko] baka mamatay na po ako. Nakakalungkot po," PH36 said when asked of his initial reaction.

Aside from shallow breaths, he also had cough and a temporary loss of taste and smell.

"Hindi ako makatulog nang nakahiga. Kailangan naka-upo lang kasi nga tuwing hihiga ako, kakapusin talaga [ng hingina]," he shared.

(I could not lie down to sleep. I have to sleep while sitting because if I lie down, I have difficulty breathing.)

It was also hard to eat.

He said he took antibiotic while in confinement at an isolated hospital room, and forced himself to eat ponkan and bananas sent by his family and relatives, with whom he communicates through cellphone.

Thanks to the available internet service in the hospital, he could keep himself busy monitoring the news about the disease.

He also prayed hard, and read the bible to boost his spirit.

"Malakas po ang faith namin kay God na papagalingin po ako. Nagpapa-pray din po ako sa family ko, and sa mga kasamahan ko sa simbahan na tulungana ako pagalingin sa sakit na ito," PH 36 said.

(We have strong faith that God would heal me. I also asked my family and my friends from Church to help me pray for my healing.)

In the next few days, his appetite returned, he could actually finish the meals served by the hospital for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he said.

His doctor also gave him confidence he will recover by telling him his condition is stable.

"So, ako'y nagtitiwala na makakakuha ako ng negative dun sa third test ko," he said.

(So, I trust that I will get a negative result for my third test.)

PH36 advised other COVID-19 patients to force themselves to eat while battling the disease, and to have faith in God.

"Unang una po ay magtiwala tayo sa Diyos na tayo'y pagagalingin," he said.

(First is to trust God that we will be healed.)

A check with the Department of Health's tally of COVID-19 cases shows that, as of Monday, PH36 is not among those considered to have recovered from the disease, as with PH4, who also shared his story of survival the other weekend.

A DOH official earlier explained that under the current protocol, patients under stable condition and who no longer manifest symptoms are already sent home where they can finish their 14-day quarantine.

The Philippines has recorded 1,546 coronavirus cases, as of Monday, including 42 recoveries and 78 deaths.