Survivor shares painful COVID-19 experience, tale of hope as he recovers

MANILA, Philippines – All he wanted was to spend his birthday with his family whom he had not seen in 5 years, but a young man found himself quarantined, isolated from everyone when he began exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. What’s worse, he learned he is positive of COVID-19 on the day of his birthday.
Survivor shares painful COVID-19 experience, tale of hope as he recovers

Identified as patient 15 (PH15), his young man turned 25 at the hospital, locked out from his family and feeling unsure whether he would actually survive and see them again.

Survivor shares painful COVID-19 experience, tale of hope as he recovers

His dilemma began when he got sick on February 29, just a few days after arriving from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He was running a fever, had coughs and colds, and felt so weak that he could not even stand up or walk.

SEE ALSO: PROFILE: Philippines' COVID-19 recoveries

He felt better the next day after his fever subsided though he still had coughs and colds. He did not worry much about his situation until the day he lost his sense of smell and taste. He decided to head off to the emergency room. There, his travel history was recorded, his symptoms were checked, and samples were taken for COVID-19 testing.

On the day of his birthday, when he was supposed to celebrate turning 25, PH15 found himself crying the entire day after learning he tested positive.

“Ang hirap sa loob ko na kaarawan ko, wala akong kasama, isolated ako physically, mentally. Ang daming pumasok sa isipan ko na masasama, na bakit ako out of 105 million Filipino people? Nalungkot ako, sobra. Nalungkot ako na hindi ko alam ‘yung gagawin ko. Parang nawalan ako ng gana sa life. Parang naapektuhan ‘yung mental health ko. Parang nawalan ako ng goal so umiyak lang ako,” he recalled in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

Survivor shares painful COVID-19 experience, tale of hope as he recovers

He shares his story to give hope to those who despair over the virus. He said that he spent 8 days at the hospital, feeling physical, emotional, and mental pain. His fever did not return but his coughs and colds persisted.

Feeling that social media has become so ‘toxic’, he logged out of his account to focus on news about his condition. Stories of recoveries brought him hope.

“Nakatulong din siya sa akin mentally kasi alam ko na may pag-asa pa pala, na hindi siya dead end para sa mga magpo-positive for COVID-19. May recoveries, may pag-asa na gumaling so doon ako nag-focus, magbasa ng mga positive news,” PH15 said.

Finally, on March 15, he received the best news he’s heard in days – he tested negative, twice!

SEE ALSOCoronavirus recovered patients in PH now 13

“In that moment, sobrang saya. Sobrang tuwa, sobrang ginhawa. Alam mo ‘yung feeling na para kang… nahimasmasan ka talaga, na ‘yong pag-asa, meron pa talaga,” he admitted.

He was discharged from the hospital but was told to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days. Scared of possibly infecting his family and friends, PH15 remained in Makati but still plans to go to the province to celebrate his birthday when he completes the mandatory self-quarantine period. The belated celebration will certainly include a visit to church, he shared.

“It is very scary and painful to hear these people who were more at risk of not being able to make it just because they were old and they had these pre-existing conditions. Masakit talaga, hindi ka pa rin talaga makapag-celebrate dahil ongoing pa rin pagtaas ng cases,” explained PH15.

“Sa totoo lang, meron pa talagang pag-asa kasi actually ‘yong COVID-19, especially sa mga bata at sa mga wala namang pre-existing conditions, medyo mild lang siya, hindi naman talaga ikaw maaapektuhan. Huwag tayong mag-alala kasi kung malakas ‘yong resistensya mo, kung wala ka namang ibang sakit na iniinda or wala ka namang mga asthma, pneumonia, etc., dapat huwag kang mag-alala.”

Watch his story here courtesy of ABS-CBN:


— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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