The past 2 days have been one of the hardest in the Philippine medical community as it lost three frontliner doctors while at least 10 others are also battling the condition and fighting for their life in various hospitals across the country.
One of the doctors even lost his life after contracting COVID-19 from a patient who lied about his travel history, cardiologist Israel Bactol from the Philippine Heart Center.
The two doctor casualties were identified as anesthesiologist Gregorio Macasaet III of Manila Doctors Hospital and oncologist Rose Pulido of the San Juan de Dios Hospital. But the news is made even sadder by the fact that at least 10 other doctors have also tested positive for COVID-19, including the wife of Dr. Greg.
Sadly, there are also hundreds of hospital workers under quarantine across the country after coming in contact and taking care of patients who tested positive for the highly contagious disease. For instance, the UST Hospital in Manila recently announced that it can only offer very limited services as its 530 staff are under quarantine.
Dr. Israel’s passing saddened netizens who took pity on the 34-year-old doctor who was identified as his family’s breadwinner. At his age, he is just beginning his career after years spent in medical school and training to become a cardiologist, but his life was snuffed all of a sudden over a patient’s lie.
Many are also mourning for Dr. Greg whose wife is still battling the condition in isolation. It saddened so many people to learn that the couple’s son has autism; losing his dad is surely devastating for the young but losing both his parents would be tragic. Thankfully, Dr. Evalyn’s condition is getting better, according to their family friend, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David.
The bishop shared Dr. Greg’s last text message as a tribute for his friend and reminder to everyone to take this thing seriously. If a strong brilliant doctor who’s been exposed to so many diseases in the past could lose his battle with COVID-19, how are we all going to survive this as unprepared as we all are?
“Good evening, my beloved brethren! The turn of events is just no longer going in my favor. The feeling you get, aside from extreme pains all over, difficulty of breathing and as if all life is being sucked from your body! They will be putting cutdown lines and central tubes on me anytime soon! If they intubate me and place me on ventilator, then the game is almost over!” the bishop shared Dr. Greg’s text.
“If Ateng (referring to his wife) survives, then my wish for her and Raymond (his son who is with autism) for a long and happy life will bear fruition! Raymond however needs financial and emotional care for the rest of his life! Something I may no longer be able to fulfill! It Is my fervent hope that all of you may assist the rest of my Family in our most difficult times!”
The doctor also requested for last rites to be done but the hospital won’t allow anyone near him, leading the bishop to simply pray together with Dr. Evalyn over the phone.
It’s sad to learn about the loss of these three frontliners. Let’s not put their sacrifice in vain. Stay at home! Let’s stop the spread of this virus.