Brain tumor did not stop a doctor from passing board exam

MANILA, Philippines – A medical student proved that not even a brain tumor could stop him from achieving his dream of being a licensed physician.

Dr. Ismael Parcon Jr
Dr. Ismael Parcon Jr proved that not even a brain tumor could hinder him from achieving his dream | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Iris Ann Parcon

For Dr. Ismael Parcon Jr. of Banga, South Cotabato, his journey to becoming a licensed physician was not an easy feat. Aside from the usual hurdles of being a medical student, he had to encounter a life-changing event that almost made him give up on his dream.

Back in June 2020, Parcon, who was an intern at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, started noticing unusual twitching on the right side of his body. He experienced focal seizure, and tonic-clonic or repetitive contractions in his body. It was at that time when he was starting to review for the physician board exam.

After seeing a neurologist in General Santos City, the MRI showed he had a 6x3 centimeters brain tumor specifically on his left frontal lobe where the part of the brain responsible for his memory, motor skills, and cognitive functions is located.

With the advice of his sister who was a doctor in Manila, Parcon went to Quezon City for his surgery. On October 3, 2020, just a day before his birthday, he was scheduled for an operation. His open-brain surgery took 24 hours to be finished.

The operation became successful but the road to recovery wasn't easy as well. Just months away before the licensure exam, Parcon was experiencing memory loss. While he lost his memory, Parcon gained faith in God. Most of the time, he would find himself reading the Bible instead of his reviewer. He found himself renewing his relationship with the Lord.

“I found myself questioning God. Why did it happen to me? Why me? But I got to know Dr. Leo Trinidad while I was in ICU. He was the one who helped me get to know God more,” Parcon shared.

Just less than two months before the board exam, Parcon officially started his review. Even with his memory loss, he pushed through and took the physician licensure exam on March 16, 2021. It was barely five months since he had his life-changing surgery but he had faith that he would pass. With sheer determination and prayers, Parcon was among the names of the passers of the March 2021 Physician Licensure Exam (PLE).

Parcon's older sister, Iris Ann, posted on Facebook how proud they are of him.

She wrote, "5 months ago, he underwent an 18-hour brain surgery because of a 6x3 cm brain tumor on his left frontal lobe. A part of the brain responsible for his memory, motor skills and cognitive functions ( s/p awake craniotomy for oligodendroglioma). Still he made it through. May the good Lord bless your medical career Jay-R Smile Parcon. I admire you for your positivity and for being a happy person. Continue doing good. Ate will always be here. To God be the Glory!"

Congratulations to my little brother ISMAEL PARCON JR MD for passing the Physician Licensure Exam. 5 months ago, he...

Posted by IRs An SmParcn on Friday, March 19, 2021

— Sally, The Summit Express

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