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  • Mom We Love: Cathy Babao-Guballa

    Children's advocate and grief counselor Cathy Babao-Guballa shares how the most difficult time in her life became the turning point to finding her blessings.
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • cathy babao guballaThey say death is both an end and a beginning. For Cathy Babao-Guballa, Lifestyle columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, this could not be any truer. After her 4-year old son Migi died from an open heart surgery in June 1998, Cathy has found her true calling - but not without suffering through the loss first. 

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    Migi was born on February 21, 1994 with a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart disease which involves four defects in the heart, usually including a hole and a blockage. Simply put, Migi was what is commonly referred to as a ‘blue baby’. Cathy recounts, “He had his first surgery when he was almost 2 (years old) at akala namin yun na yon, mao-open heart (surgery) na sya, but when they opened, they saw hindi pa kaya. So they put a cardiac shunt just to relieve the problems, kasi with Tetralogy of Fallot, your clean blood and dirty blood mix together so that’s why the baby turns blue.” 

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    Another two years later, Migi’s condition had worsened. “When he turned four, he kept getting sick na. He was having upper respiratory illness one after the other, so his pediatric cardiologist said it was time. We scheduled him for open heart surgery. Since the doctor said that there was only a 5% chance of mortality, we didn’t think that he wouldn’t make it.” However, within 24 hours of the operation, Migi went into coma, and passed away two weeks later. “It was totally unexpected, it was really a shock to us what happened,” Cathy says.

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    “I know the pain of losing a father – my dad died when I was 16. That was a shock also because that was a first attack and my brother and I saw it happen. It takes you a long time to heal plus, being young, you would not be able to heal as quickly as you would when you’re an adult. But when you lose a child – that is the ultimate pain.”

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