The essence of forgiveness and healing… a true story

(NOTE: I want to share this inspirational story of a colleague of mine that despite his injuries after a vehicular accident, he was able to forgive and accepted that he will no longer be a hundred percent of himself. With full confidence that even if God gave him an 80 percent of a new self, he will strive to perform a hundred percent quality of that 80 percent that the Lord gave him.)

Thank you for the healing…thank you for the forgiveness…

On the 24th of March 2019 at about 8:00PM I met a vehicular accident. I was changing lanes when the motorcycle headlight I estimated was still far suddenly appeared in front at breakneck speed with horns blasting. A moment of hesitation had me caught on my side instantly snapping my left femur and also lacerating my left ring finger. The momentum was so strong that it threw me far from my motorcycle and I landed on my left shoulder blade before my head hit the pavement. I passed out and when I came to I asked for the driver who hit me afraid that he died in the collision. It must have been long before I came to as the onlookers have already brought the driver to the hospital. When my cousins who were near recognized me they at once called an ambulance that brought me to the Romblon Provincial Hospital (RPH).

At the RPH, the doctor ordered for an x-ray of my head and femur. Luckily my head suffered only minor concussion and had no crack but my femur snapped in two. It was a clean break as my cellular phone that was in my left pocket bore most of the impact. Were the phone not been there, a more serious injury might have happened. A cast was made on my left leg and rendered it immobile. The resident physician sewed up my lacerated finger but was unable to connect the tendons and muscles that were severed. At the emergency room I was relieved to learn that the driver who hit me was stable and safe; so do with his rider. I stayed overnight at the RPH. My wife was determined to bring me to Manila the following day as the orthopedic surgeon at the RPH was due on the 5th of April yet.

The following day we arranged for a trip to Manila via 2GO. Knowing that the ship was strict in taking in patients we took off the dextrose that was connected to me and made me appear well with only a cast troubling me. We nearly got rejected but the on-board nurse had us on a separate accommodation. The journey went well until we reached Batangas where I already had a slight fever. An ambulance took us from the port to Sta. Teresita General Hospital, a hospital near the Philippine Orthopaedic Hospital recommended by my cousin doctors. At the Sta Teresita I was again x-rayed to check my leg and for clearance of the other organs like the lungs that might affect my operation. Tuesday morning the doctors checked on my condition and had me cleared for an operation on Wednesday morning. Luckily the cardiologist was not around in the morning of Tuesday but arrived 11:00PM. When he checked on me he was surprised that I was cleared for an operation the following day when he heard something crackling in my chest; not from the heart but from the lungs. When they checked on my vital signs they were surprised: my oxygen saturation was only 51% and my blood pressure shot up to more than 200 over another high number. When the doctors ordered another x-ray they found that my lungs were full of fluids and the image was far from the image taken in the morning. They surmised that I regressed into ARDS; an uncommon complication but a life-threatening situation.

My cousin doctors who were with me all throughout recommended that I be sent to UST Hospital and referred me to a pulmonologist who was also an Odionganon. An ambulance whisked me to the UST Hospital. Along the way, I vomited 3 times and was almost in delirium. I was uttering incomprehensible words and telling my wife I can’t take it anymore. My wife who is a fighter boosted my spirit by telling me I would still care for our granddaughter and teach her how to swim yet. With these, she told me later, I somehow managed to fight on.

At the UST Hospital emergency room, doctors checked my vital signs and having found my oxygen saturation was very low, a respirator was attached to me. My O2 saturation improved and I felt better. We were admitted to my room Wednesday. It was supposed to be at the ICU where the plan was to put a tube in my lungs and drain the fluid but since there was no vacant room at the ICU I was placed in the Del Carmen ward – a place for critically-ill patients. I was coughing blood and phlegm for the next days but my condition was improving. By this time the edema in my left shoulder started to appear as a manifestation of the trauma I got falling from my motorcycle. By Friday my lot improved and when the ICU was made vacant with me as next in line a kind lady doctor ruled out the ICU as it would only weigh down on the finances of the family. However, my respirator was still attached to me. Over the weekend my condition further improved and when the x-ray showed my lungs have cleared, I was scheduled for my femoral operation Wednesday morning. By this time my fracture shifted a few inches even if there was traction applied to it. The shift may have caused internal bleeding necessitating blood transfusion. The doctors ordered 3 packs of A-negative blood – a rare blood type. Luckily one Red Cross branch had a pack ready in Caloocan and another one in Pangasinan. The third pack came from our student at the RSU-CET who voluntarily gave a piece of himself for his mentor.bil

Wednesday morning, at 6:30AM, I was brought to the operating room for my fracture. The operation took 9 hours. Anesthesia was applied to my armpit for the wound on my ring finger that had to be repaired; on my thigh and spinal column, for my femur. I felt numb but was awake the entire operation. I felt the tapping while the doctors drove the titanium nail through my femur. As they wheeled me to the recovery room, I heard the anesthesiologist say the operation was successful. I heaved a sigh of relief but I knew it was not over yet. I was finally brought to my room at 8:30PM. In the evening I could not sleep as student nurses kept checking on my vital signs on an hourly basis. This was on top of the regular nurses administering medicines and getting test samples of my blood. The struggle to sleep was real as every time a knock on the door was heard I was awakened. This may have weakened my resistance as I caught pneumonia five days after the operation just when we were about to be cleared for going home. The doctors again put me under the respirator and had to administer antibiotics for another 12 days. The few days extension was a blessing as my scrotum which was traumatized by the impact had by now swollen, blackened, and appeared herniated. Fungal growth appeared as lesions around it due to the diaper I wore before operations. A urologist doctor examined the area and cleared it of any serious injury but prescribed cortico-steroid for the fungus. My wife nursed it back to health and it returned to its original state. The will to go home was by now strong in me so we asked the doctors if we could go home Monday of the Holy Week. The doctors consented with the precaution that we should bring oxygen and that we had to be accompanied by a nurse who would administer medicine on board. By Monday, 22 days after I was brought to Manila, we finally sailed to Odiongan. I felt a lot better because my pneumonia was getting better. I also had a few sessions with the physical therapists and I managed a few steps before I left the hospital. We arrived home early Tuesday morning thankful to God that I made it thus far.

With the foregoing I would like to make an appeal to parents. While it is now tempting to gift our children with motorcycles brought about by very liberal installment terms, please think twice before you do so. Your child could have been in my place and may not have survived the ordeal, let alone the cost of hospitalization. Let us keep minors off the streets as they are the ones most vulnerable to accidents. If your child is of the right age and could already be bestowed a driver’s license, please make him/her fully aware of the traffic regulations and of his/her responsibility as a driver. Odiongan has a speed limit within the town proper and if properly followed, we could all advocate for safer Odiongan streets. Above all please do not let your kids drive drunk or under the influence of any substance.

A note of thanks. When God gives us trials He makes sure we could all go through it with help that He also provides. Above all He sent me a wife and daughter who were patient enough to care for me. He sent me the best physicians headed by Dr. Lanzona. My cousins Drs. Fajutagana were also there for me. He also sent me good Samaritans to aid our financial woes, my family, inlaws, relatives, co-workers and past co-workers, brods and sisses in the fraternity and sorority, classmates and friends in college and elementary, professors in college, and even extended friends of my daughter and the Governor’s family; I would have to thank you personally or in socmed. He also sent me friends who offered prayers and well wishes that He also heard. I learned from my wife that even multi-denominational groups have offered prayers and intentions in my behalf. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. On the day we were about to be discharged, a nun offered prayers for me, she started, “Lord thank you for the healing, thank you for the forgiveness..,” I broke to tears and stopped hearing the prayers after the second word realizing how such a sinful man like me could deserve so much grace from the Lord. If this was my Passion for the atonement of sins, then I gladly accept and be thankful about it.

Happy Easter everyone! I am now home and on the road to full recovery. I knew I could no longer be a hundred percent of myself but if the Lord gives me an 80 percent of a new me, then I hope and pray that I could perform a hundred percent quality of that 80 percent He gave me.

~ by reymos on August 5, 2019.

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