BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Olivia Yanson, 86, the matriarch of the Yanson group of companies – the largest bus firm in the country, has been hit by COVID-19 and was airlifted to Metro Manila Saturday, her daughter Ginnette Dumancas confirmed yesterday.
Dumancas is appealing for prayers for the speedy recovery of her mother who is confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City.
“The doctors are doing their best here but I am appealing for prayers that mommy will have the strength to fight off this virus,” Dumancas said.
Olivia’s other children Roy, Emily, Celina and Ricky, in a press statement, said they have no direct contact with their mother but are also praying for her speedy recovery.
The four have been locked in legal battles with their mother and two other siblings, Ginnette and Leo Rey, over control of their bus empire.
Dumancas said her mother had a cough on Friday, but had no fever and sore throat.
He mother also did not feel like eating and did not want to get out of bed, and appeared to have difficulty in breathing so she had her oxygen level monitored and noted that it was dropping, Dumancas said.
Dumancas said she called her daughter, Dr. Carissa Dumancas, who works at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and she immediately told her that Olivia probably had COVID-19 and should be tested for it.
“When I told her about the oxygen values of Mommy Love, she immediately told me to have her lungs CT scanned and requested blood works to see the extent of the COVID infection. She told me not to waste anymore time as Mommy Love is diabetic and hypertensive,” Dumancas said.
On Saturday she brought her mother to Manila by air ambulance because her doctors with whom she is comfortable, work at the St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City, she added.
Before their departure, her mother was swabbed for a COVID-19 test and while they were airborne the positive result came out, she added.
The doctors said her mother’s condition is moderate to high risk because she is old and suffers from diabetes and hypertension, Dumancas said.
They cannot say yet that she is out of danger as a lot of tests are still being taken, she added.
She said her mother has been bored amid the COVID-19 lockdown and has been going to her seafront rest house in Talisay City to play mahjong and to sing along, and loves going to the Talisay and Silay markets to buy seafood.
Her mother is a go-getter, refuses to be idle, and would not listen to warnings not to go out because she is susceptible to COVID-19, Dumancas added.
A nurse of her mother also tested positive for COVID-19 but it is really not known how her mother was infected, she added.
Dumancas said Bacolod and Negros Occidental residents should be thankful for the free COVID-19 testing the government is providing, and should take advantage of the opportunity to be tested.
She said the hospitals in Metro Manila can no longer take in patients and it is no longer easy to get tested for COVID-19. There are rooms for COVID-19 patients but not enough staff, she added.
I am happy Bacolod and Negros officials are working to minimize the spread of the virus, she added.
THE YANSON 4
In a press statement yesterday, Olivia’s four other children – Roy, Emily, Celina and Ricky – said they, along with their spouses andcchildren, are praying in silence for her speedy recovery.
They said they learned that their mother had been airlifted to Manila due to difficulty in breathing and it was later posted on social media that she is being treated in a private hospital.
“The Y4, having no direct communication with their mother, and only knew about her medical emergency through the postings no different from everyone else. They had lost direct communication with their mom. This news deeply saddens them and they had individually sent heartfelt personal messages to express their love and concern for their mom, hoping they would reach her,” their statement said.
With the current family circumstances and existing travel restrictions, they sadly are unable to be by their mother’s side even if they want to, the statement added.
The Yanson 4 had always made clear that they do care and love their mother despite the ongoing dispute between them, the statement said.
“They really miss their mom so much. At times like this, disagreements can be cast aside as their main concern is her medical condition and current state of health. The only thing they can do now is to sincerely and fervently pray that she is able to get past this health issue, and recover quickly from it,” their statement added.*