‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith

Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Jun 04 2020 09:32 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2020 10:12 PM

‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith 1
‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith 2
‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith 3
‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith 4

‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith All photos from Felino Bautista

‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith All photos from Felino Bautista

‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith All photos from Felino Bautista

‘It’s a miracle’: On brink of death, Pinoy nurse in Wales owes second life to unwavering faith All photos from Felino Bautista

LONDON—News spread in Felino Bautista's hometown of Luna, Isabela, that the care home nurse died in Wales, United Kingdon due to COVID-19.

But actually, Bautista was intubated at a hospital in Wales, fighting for his life.

In an interview with ABS-CBN Europe, Bautista, a father of three, said he isolated himself for 10 days in a back building of his house in Wales immediately after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

“I sent a (COVID-19) patient to a hospital April 12. I started to feel symptoms Friday (April 17),” narrated Bautista. 

When his condition worsened, he called the emergency line and asked to be taken to the hospital. It was a critical time because his blood oxygen level dropped to 44. Normally, blood oxygen levels should fall between 95-100 percent. 

“Sabi ng doctor there is no such thing as 44, baka baliktad ang basa n’yo,” Bautista recalled. 

“Pero kahit saan finger ilagay (ang pulse oximeter) same. But noong dumating ang ambulance, tumaas nang konti naging 52. So noon wala na, any time pwede na akong ma-cardiac arrest. So, tinakbo agad ako sa ICU.” 

(The doctor said there is no such thing as 44. I thought he read it wrong. But it was the same reading on the pulse oximeter on either finger. When the ambulance came, it went up a little to 52. I could've had a cardiac arrest any time. So I was brought to the ICU).

At the intensive care unit, his ordeal began. He tried his best to recover with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. But it failed. After four days, he agreed to be intubated. 

“They are avoiding intubation kasi ipa-paralyze ka, lahat ng internal organs mo kasi lalagyan ka ng tube,” Bautista said. 

“ ’Yun ang hihinga para sa’yo, ’yung ventilator. Ang (risk) noon pwede mag-fail ang kidney mo. (They avoid intubation because you are paralyzed, all your internal organs. The ventilator will breathe for you. There is the risk that your kidney will fail you),” Bautista said, adding that the simple act of breathing became torture.

Covenant with God 

It was at this time Bautista surrendered his fate to God. He is an active member of the Baptist church in the UK and the Philippines.

“Ang alam ko talaga mamamatay na ako that weekend na naka-intubate na ako. Pero ang mind ko nagpe-pray ako, nag-uusap kami, para bang hiniling ko huwag Ka na lang kukuha ng friends at family ko, kasi marami akong family d’yan sa London. Pero ready na ako,” Bautista said.

(I felt I was going to die that weekend when I was intubated. I asked God to spare my friends and family. But I was ready.)

At this point, his congregation started praying for him. He also said there were others from different faiths who also prayed for his recovery.

“It humbles me, sa dami ng nag-pray sa akin. Overwhelming talaga, at one time merong 10,000 na nagpe-pray sa akin online. Binuhay pa Niya ako. Siguro, meron pa siyang gustong ipagawa sa akin,” Bautista said. 

(So many prayed for me. It's overwhelming. At one time, there were 10,000 people online who were praying for me. And I was spared. Maybe God still has plans for me)

After 24 days in two hospitals in Wales — the Royal Glamorgan and University Hospital Wales — he was discharged and allowed to recover at home. 

After being discharged, Bautista said he received another miracle. He was supposed to undergo hemodialysis, which was part of his recovery treatment, but his kidneys healed on their own. 

“Don’t depend on your own strength. Depend on the Lord . . . There was always conviction in my prayer," he said. 

He and his wife, Marites, also a nurse, built a life in the UK for almost two decades. Today, they want to inspire others with their family's journey, a journey touched by their renewed and enduring faith. 

“It’s a miracle. God works in mysterious and miraculous ways,” said Bautista.