Home Featured Article ‘Yes, I am a nurse…and also Patient 33’

‘Yes, I am a nurse…and also Patient 33’

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CABANATUAN CITY My fight is not yet over. I’ll come back strong.

In gist, this is the promise of Jezreel Padolina, 29, of Barangay Bantug Bulalo here, an emergency room nurse of the Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, a referral hospital for coronavirus disease here, who was infected due to exposure to their first patients.

“Yes I am a nurse and also I am Patient 33 of Nueva Ecija and I am not ashamed of it,” Padolina said in his April 18 social media post where he provided people of a clear picture of what a medical frontliner is going through in the fight against Covid-19, which also claimed the life of one of his fellow nurse at PJGMRMC.

“Tandang tanda ko pa nung una akong umakyat dito normal na duty lang dapat yun. Papasok na sana ako sa area ko (ER ako that time) nakareceive ako ng tawag mula sa chief nurse namin na si Patient #2 ng Nueva Ecija ay iaadmit na and kelangan na ng kasama ng isa sa mga pioneer na si Daryl De Dios. Binigyan ako ng time para umuwi and magpack ng gamit dahil sinabihan ako na hindi na kame makakauwi which is tama lang naman dahil ayokong maguwi ng virus sa bahay namin (ito ang kaunaunahang kinatatakot ng frontliners),” Padolina narrated.

Mindful of what his family would feel, Padolina decided not to tell his family of the situation. “Hindi ko din naman kasi inexpect na until now hindi pa din pala ako makakauwi,” he said. “Nakakalungkot lang din dahil syempre ni wala man lang pormal na paalam samin ang sabi ko lang kelangan ako ng hospital namin (hindi ko sinabi na nag- volunteer ako sorry Ma *laugh emoji*)

In the post, Padolina also pleaded not to discriminate against his family as he thanked neighbors for solid support and being their ‘defenders.” The nurse said he never came home since, thus no member of his family might have been exposed to the disease.

“Never akong naexpose sa kanila kahit yung mga kapatid ko na nurse at midwife at pinsan na pharmacist hindi kami nagkita sa ospital dahil off-limits sila Covid area. Okay na po na ako na lang pag-usapan nyo wag nyo na idamay ang pamilya ko,” the frontliner stressed.

Being infected, Padolina said he feared more the stigma of being labeled a Covid-19 patient than being a positive case itself, saying the former comes with a deep emotional burden for a patient and his or her family.

“Guys, wag nyo naman na sanang dagdagan pa ang problema ng pamilya ng mga nagpositive sa Covid. May dagok na nga sila sa buhay dahil wala naman ang gustong mahawa unless kung isa ka sa palisawlisaw sa kalsada kahit ECQ na. Tapos bigla kang babanat at dadagdagan pa ng pagiging ipokrito nyo at ikakalat sa mga kabarangy na naku baka may Covid yan dapat nagquarantine yan. Sinasabi ko ito dahil sobrang masakit para sa akin na ganun pa ang pagdaanan ng pamilya ko. All of them are hypertensive and ang mother ko may sakit pa sa puso kaya please lang pray for them na lang and support them,” he appealed.

Padolina said there was no regret on his part because “I did my best to protect myself” and he got infected not by roaming around the street amid enhanced community quarantine but in his will to help and “make a difference.”

Should he completely recover, Padolina told his chief nurse to bring him back to the frontline: “Mam pag gumaling po ako at okay na ang lahat gusto ko pong bumalik sa frontline dahil hindi pa po dito nagtatapos ang laban ko. Ngayon pa ba na kahit papano may antibodies na ang katawan ko. Ngayon pa ba sa tinagal- tagal kong naka-quarantine nakaisip na ako ng mga paraan kung paano pa mas magiging safe ang sarili ko at ang mga kasamahan ko. Ngayon pa ba todo suporta ang pamilya ko sa laban ko na ito.(maraming maraming salamat po sa lahat ng taong tumutulong sakin.

He did not elaborate but said that Patient #2 had helped him a lot when he was in a quandary on how to tell his family that he was infected.

“Mga kababayan ko, mahaba-haba pa ang laban na ito pero ang karamihan sa amin ay nagkakasakit na ang panawagan ko lang po mag-donate po kayo sa mga hospital na malapit sa inyo kelangan po namin kayo sa laban na ito walang perpektong pamahalaan or institution pero kung magtutungan tayo mas malaki ang tyansa na manalo tayo laban sa virus,” Padolina said. He thanked those helping frontliners.

He also urged for a stop on gossip and fake news amid the pandemic.

“Hindi pa tapos ang laban ko asahan nyo na paggaling ko babalik ako sa frontlines at lalaban pa ulit!” he assured.

Finally, he called on donors to coordinate with the operation center of PJGMRMC. He also named his companions who bravely join the fight against the virus.

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