Pinay nurse in UK shares miracle of surviving COVID-19

Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2020 03:38 PM

LONDON - Filipina nurse Lucia Reyes could have been part of the statistics of frontliners who succumbed to COVID-19. But the 55-year old told ABS-CBN News, she has experienced the miracle of God in surviving the disease.

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“It’s really a miracle. (To this day) I can feel the love and the concern of everyone,” said the veteran nurse at Hammersmith and Fulham Hospital, the same hospital where she received treatment.

Reyes, who woke up after a week of intubation in the intensive care unit, added: “Because of the excellent care of the frontliners, I’m grateful, I’m back to life. This is my second chance. I know God is with us. This is a living miracle.” 

She admitted, many hospitals in the UK were not prepared at the onset of the pandemic. But she did not regret accepting extra shifts in the hospital when some of her colleagues felt unwell and failed to report for work. Reyes has always wanted to help respond to any crisis in her ward. 

“Initially, we were not prepared. But the mortality was getting worse. So, were waiting for the supply (of PPEs) to come. They eventually came,” she narrated. 

On Good Friday, April 10, she woke up feeling the early symptoms of COVID-19. When her condition worsened, she was admitted to the hospital. 

“I knew I was becoming poorly and the only option was intubation. I had to cooperate and (there was) no hesitation because that was the best for me," said Reyes. 

But before her intubation, she surrendered everything to God. While fighting for life in intensive care, her two daughters ceaselessly called for prayer warriors among their families in the Philippines and the United States. The family’s prayer community, the Couples for Christ or CFC in London, was pillar of support. 

Reyes said the power of social media also helped because friends and family from different corners of the globe responded and sent encouraging messages of support, as well as prayers. 

On April 24, Reyes was discharged from the hospital to complete her recovery from home for at least three months. 

The day she was discharged from the hospital, her fellow nurses and kababayans lined up in the corridor and clapped for her: a poignant moment for the widow and her two daughters. 

“There were tears in my eyes," she confessed. 

She added: “I’m grateful. I’m so thankful. I feel the care and the love.” 

It wasn’t the only time she felt the love of her colleagues and friends. When she was extubated and transferred to the hospital’s COVID-19 recovery ward, they looked after her well, Reyes said. Her colleagues on duty cooked from home and brought her Pinoy food so she could eat nutritious meals and the food she craved. 

“I had excellent care. The Filipinos-- they brought arroz caldo, bulalo. They brought food. Filipino frontliners have really a caring attitude,” she told ABS-CBN. 
 
Reyes said she reaped what she sowed. She has given her all at work – dedication, compassion and care on top of her expertise. When it was her turn to be needing them, she got them all and more. 
 
Telling her story is meant to inspire those afflicted with the novel coronavirus disease and their families.
 
“Have faith, be strong. Don’t give up. God is good all the time,” said Reyes.