A tale of hope and inspiration amid the gloom of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) sprang from a southern Negros city, which has recorded one of the oldest in the country to recover from the illness – 92-year-old Antonina Gargoles.
The good news about the patient’s recovery was shared on Facebook by Dr. Kaye Marie Yap, a doctor to the barrio in Himamaylan City, who provided medical care for Lola Antonina.
“Such an inspiring story gives us hope amid the current situation we are facing. It shows how genuine love and care can greatly contribute (to a patient’s recovery),” Yap told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an online interview on Monday.
She said with the increasing cases of local transmission, medical front-liners like her have been struggling to cope.
“We fear for our health, our family’s health, and the community’s health at the same time, but with Lola Antonina’s story, I can say that all our struggles are worth it. It keeps us going,” Yap added.
On Sunday, she shared four photos and a video of the nonagenarian, looking spritely in various poses.
In the video, a smiling Lola Antonina described her doctor as “very beautiful”.
In her post, Yap said the patient from Barangay Sara-et, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, contracted the virus on July 23.
“She was too weak, febrile, and dyspneic when we visited her at their house last August 6. I advised their family that Lola should be referred to a tertiary hospital. However, they refused. They wanted to be the ones to take care of Lola, considering her old age and bedridden status,” she added.
Yap said they provided Lola Antonina with medicines and constantly monitored her condition under the care of her daughter and grandson.
“Two days after she started taking her medicines, her condition improved, eventually leading to her full recovery – negative repeat swab and with no symptoms!” she announced.
Yap said the inspiring story of Lola Antonina only shows that “there is hope in this overly chaotic world.”
“She is our inspiration in our struggle to fight this Covid-19 pandemic,”
Himamaylan City Mayor Raymund Tongson himself shared the story of Lola Antonina on his Facebook page, thanking her for the inspiration she has brought to the city’s battle against an unprecedented health crisis.
“We sincerely thank you for bringing us hope, strength, and courage and for being our silver lining, especially at the height of the pandemic when days tend to be the longest and front-line workers get physically and emotionally weary. Mabuhay ka, Lola!” Tongson said.
He also appealed to his constituents to continue praying for the city and its people.
As of early Monday, Himamaylan had 45 confirmed Covid-19 cases. (PNA)