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Monday, July 13, 2009

A Dad Who Never Quits

I got sick at the age of 14. I acquired Landry Guillain Barre Syndrome (Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy), a rare disease that causes progressive muscle weakness and paralysis. Whew! It was a very complicated disease. It left me paralyzed for over twenty years now.

I remember, several hours after they brought me to the hospital, I began to feel difficulty in breathing. The nurse placed the green-colored tube connected to the oxygen tank on my nostrils but to my shock, it gave no relief! It was as if, there was no oxygen at all passing through it. My mother who was sitting at my bedside leaned toward me and whispered to my ears, "Magdasal ka anak para gumaling ka agad..." (Pray, that you may get well…) Then we sang the "Our Father" but even before we could finish the song, I passed out. I did not know how long it was. When I regained consciousness, I could hardly open my eyes. I just felt a crowd of people in white all around my bed. One was forcing a metallic instrument into my mouth to open it wide and then inserted a long plastic tube down into my throat.

Later on, my parents told me that I stopped breathing. I was gasping for air and was gnashing my teeth. The medical people attending to me were almost ready to give up. The nurses had already escorted my family out of the room except for Dad. He intentionally stuck his thumb between my teeth, enduring the pain of my bite, just to keep my mouth open in a desperate attempt to make sure that I would not lose air. It was then that the doctors and nurses went back to resuscitate me. Mom asked Dad to show me his right thumb, it was all black and blue and inflamed.

When I was dying, Dad was at my bedside. He never left me and I recovered. When Dad was dying, I was not there at his bedside. He did not recover and I did not hear his final words. If I could only describe how painful it was for me… It was like a wound that would never heal…

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