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    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation with oxygen tank

    As if going through college isn’t hard enough, a young man in Sultan Kudarat had to do it while being critically ill. His story would inspire a lot of people who admired his will to complete his education despite his condition.
    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation

    Joemar Mangkok, 25, recently made waves online after he attended his college graduation on a wheelchair. He was not only wheeled up the stage to receive his diploma, someone also had to carry his oxygen tank.

    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation with tank
    Photo credit: Lyn Mangkok Ayob / Facebook

    Despite his difficult situation, Mangkok never gave up. He was in and out of hospitals since he was a kid, yet he managed to complete Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Major in Math, from Southern Mindanao Institute of Technology (SMIT).

    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation with tank
    Photo credit: Lyn Mangkok Ayob / Facebook

    Mangkok’s elder sister, Lyn Mangkok Ayob, shared photos taken from his graduation day.

    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation with tank
    Photo credit: Lyn Mangkok Ayob / Facebook

    #LABANPUSO...datu congrats🎓 dahil e2 na ang pangarap natin lahat na maabot mo ang araw na e2😭😭😭.sana gumaling kana at kc magboard exam kapa #LABAN❤💪

    Joemar Kenik Mangkok,

    BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN SECONDARY EDUCATION..MAJOR IN MATH..

    SOUTHERN MINDANAO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY INC.

    sana maging inspirasyon ka sa mga kabataan.We love you so much datu.

    #LABANPUSO

    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation with tank
    Photo credit: Lyn Mangkok Ayob / Facebook

    The #LABANPUSO hashtag is an allusion to Mangkok’s difficult condition as he suffers from a rheumatic heart.

    Ayob revealed that her brother had always been quite sickly as a child. As a kid, Mangkok had exhibited brilliance, with the smart boy often representing the school in regional competitions.

    But his conditioned worsened in college. He often had to take a semester off because he would fall really ill. Then, he would enroll again but couldn’t finish the semester. This went on for years, with Mangkok transferring from one school to another.

    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation with tank
    Photo credit: Lyn Mangkok Ayob / Facebook

    Thankfully, SMIT allowed Mangkok to complete his course requirements even while he was confined at the hospital. This allowed the young man to finally graduate from the course at 25 years old.

    “He studied when he was at the hospital and that’s even where he finished some of his projects. But he didn’t want to stop because our father told us our education was very important and it was the only thing he could give us,” Ayob said.

    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation with tank
    Photo credit: Lyn Mangkok Ayob / Facebook

    Though the family was rejoicing over Mangkok’s victory, their happiness was short-lived. He was immediately rushed back to the hospital after graduation and had to be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

    UPDATE: Viral student who graduated with heart disease passes away

    Student with rheumatic heart disease defies odds, attends graduation with tank
    Photo credit: Lyn Mangkok Ayob / Facebook

    His story has touched so many hearts. Netizens extended their congratulations to the young man and prayers for his speedy recovery so he could take the board exams and live his dreams of becoming a teacher.

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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