A ray of hope

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“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Bishop Desmond Tutu

My niece, Mutya, sent me a link yesterday from Vivien Angel Amor who posted an appeal for her father, Alfredo, in the Bacolod Barter Community page.

In her post, Vivien asked if anyone can provide help for their father who is a dialysis patient and COVID positive and has missed three sessions already because no hospital will accept a positive patient.

“My father’s blood pressure is rising and we are all quarantined at home. We cannot endure to watch him in pain and this leaves me no choice but to appeal publicly for anyone who can help direct us to any hospital that can give him dialysis,” Vivien wrote.

Anyone who has a dialysis patient at home knows that as soon as the patient gets treatment, it’s like giving him a new lease in life for a few days till the next session. To miss one, let alone three sessions, spells danger.

Vivien thanked their barangay officials who have been trying to help the family and ask for their understanding for her very public post “but as a daughter, I have to do this if only to extend my father’s life. Please include my papa in your prayers. I know nothing is impossible if we continue to have faith.”

We cling to faith, to hope, to prayers in our darkest days. And as a daughter who lost our father just over two years ago, I felt the need to comfort and help Vivien.

I forwarded the appeal to City Administrator Em Ang who was coincidentally preparing to meet with dialysis center doctors and the members of the Philippine Society of Nephrology yesterday too.

Was it fate or faith in the works? Who knows? But I am just glad that Em swiftly responded and before the day ended, Vivien was informed that her dad will be picked up by the City Health ambulance for admission and treatment at the Queen of Mercy hospital.

I asked Vivien if I can share her story and name her father because even before she stated her appeal, she asked that her post will not induce discrimination. I am advocating to end discrimination against COVID-19 positive patients and those who continue to discriminate are short of ignorant.

This girl bravely faced possible discrimination against her father and their family with her post as they are all in quarantine and awaiting to be swabbed as well. She admitted her father was symptomatic and was tested for COVID-19 because he had been coughing.
However, it has been reported that many of our hospitals are allegedly in full capacity for COVID cases. DOH has stated that they will look into this allegation as their records of COVID-19 admissions do not match the claims of our hospitals.

CLMMRH have their hands full. And with almost 20 percent of their workforce in quarantine, the only alternative is to go to private hospitals or public hospitals outside Bacolod. But even the ER at the Silay provincial hospital as well as the Bago District Hospital were closed for disinfection.

It is truly a blessing that Em came to the rescue and was able to facilitate Alfredo’s admission at the Queen of Mercy hospital. But his is just one case. What about the others? With hospitals claiming they are in full capacity and the nearest hospitals are not available as well, how many Alfredo’s are waiting to be accommodated and administered treatment for their pre-existing conditions, especially if they have tested positive for COVID? What is our protocol for this?

There were even comments asking why Alfredo is even on home quarantine when he is positive. And I guess that was the premise of Vivien’s first line when she asked for understanding rather than discrimination.

Because despite the daily dose about COVID-19, many remain clueless of our protocols. Many still do not understand that home quarantine is allowed for positive patients who are asymptomatic for as long as their residence provide isolation quarters for the patient – meaning a bedroom with bathroom which will isolate the patient from the rest of the family until all test results are in.

Of course, for a family who have all tested positive, shared rooms and bathrooms is immaterial. However, whether this conditions are being checked and monitored by our health workers or barangay officials is another issue.

Vivien said they have yet to be tested and they are waiting for the CHO to give them swabs at home. When that will be remains a question as the CHO is just swamped caring for all – the LSIs, the OFWs, the APORs and now, the rising local transmission in our city.

For now, Vivien and her family are just relieved that their father has been assisted and they can peacefully continue with their home quarantine knowing that he is now in good hands.

Vivien fought with her faith. This gives me hope too. And Em Ang was instrumental in that…my big thank you!*

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