Best birthday yet: Young doctor celebrates life while battling COVID-19


Posted at Apr 24 2020 11:45 AM | Updated as of Apr 24 2020 01:02 PM

Dr. Carmina Fuentebella. Photo from her Facebook page

MANILA - A young doctor battling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) celebrated her 27th birthday on Friday, as she called on fellow frontliners to stay strong.

"I celebrate my 27th birthday with probably the best gift yet—the gift of life," said Carmina Fuentebella, whose photos went viral in recent weeks as family and friends sought prayers for her immediate recovery.

Fuentebella has been reporting for work at the UST Hospital and later contracted COVID-19. During her battle, she was intubated and recently received plasma treatment.

"It felt like a dead end, but through everyone’s efforts and prayers I’m finally on my way to full recovery. I may be down, but rest assured that I will come back and once again battle at the frontlines—stronger and maybe a little bit more careful than before," said Fuentebella in her now-viral Facebook post.

She said the "past couple of weeks have been really tough" but she was grateful to everyone who sent help and prayers, including her doctors and nurses who went out of their way to "see if I was still breathing, for staying up countless nights to make sure I was still mentally okay, for enduring with me through every step of this hardship, and for all the things you did I was too sick to even know."

"To my friends, and to everyone who generously offered me their love and countless prayers, although I may not be able to personally thank every single one of you, please know that I am eternally grateful for the overwhelming support you all have given me," she added.

Fuentebella said she was raring to go back to work and encouraged fellow frontliners to continue the COVID-19 fight. She is still confined at the hospital while awaiting clearance.

"To all my fellow frontliners, I pray you all remain safe as this pandemic continues to wreak havoc. We still have a long way to go, but I hope we can all stay healthy as we try to defeat this virus.