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  • Stories of Survival and Hope: A Stroke, a Death and Ondoy

    Read how one woman is facing life after being hit by tragedy after tragedy.
    by Tina Santiago-Rodriguez .
  • hope and survival

    On July 29, 2006, my husband suffered a major brain stroke, requiring two brain surgeries. We initially had set aside funds to buy a car, but that amount did not even pay for half of the P1 million fee for his treatment.

    Added to that was the daily terror and anxiety that we went through until my husband was finally sent home to recover and undergo therapy. We moved to a nice village in Cainta, which we deemed was ideal for my husband’s recovery. We were victorious in that sense, but that was just the start of the series of tragedies that were to befall me.

    Even before we could fully recover from the financial problems, my third child became sick with a bad cough which lasted for more than a month, and died suddenly in the hospital while the doctors had not yet completed their diagnosis. Apparently, it was lymphoma cancer in the advanced stage. That happened on April 30, 2007, only 9 months after my husband’s stroke.

    In September 2009, Typhoon Ondoy struck, and our house was among those that were flooded. The waters reached neck-deep, and a big part of the house and our appliances and furniture were severely damaged. Our car was also totally submerged, but thankfully we were still able to have it repaired.

    We had to move to a condo in Ortigas Center, trusting my employer’s promise to pay for the rent, which was not to be, so I was left to fulfill the commitment of a very expensive contract, which led to more financial disaster. We have since moved to a very small condo, but all my allowances have been removed due to our company’s downsizing.

    More sickness, death and financial woes
    Last year, my husband contracted pneumonia. Since he was a diabetic, the pneumonia led to all sorts of complications, seriously affecting his heart and kidneys. These led to an even worse condition — septic shock.

    My husband stayed in the ICU starting March 23, and our battle for his life ended on April 1, 2013. Those final two weeks were the most difficult for our family, especially my husband and me. There were a lot of conflicting decisions to make.

    There was also the issue of money. At one point, the Philippine Heart Center refused to approve the procedure that he needed because of our P200,000 balance, so we had to transfer him to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center, where he was given the utmost attention and care, and where we were allowed the sweet privilege of staying with him 24/7, foregoing ICU policies.

    After my husband’s death, he was cremated, and his and my son’s urns remained with us until February 28, 2014, when we finally laid them to rest in a columbary.

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