The ordeal of the first Filipino to test positive with COVID-19

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Patient 4 is the first Filipino Covid-19 case in the Philippines. He identified himself as Atty. Carlo Navarro. He decided to share his story to educate and warn others about the deadly virus inflicting hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.

His viral facebook post last March 22 detailed how he fought and won the battle against covid 19.

Where he got the virus

He thought he had done all necessary precautions by always wearing masks, while on their family trip to Japan last February. They did not consider Japan as high risk that time as there was no known community transmission yet. There were no rules yet on quarantine for returning passengers.

February 25, they traveled back to Philippines. At the plane, a Filipino man sitting behind him was coughing vigorously which he suspects was the carrier.

Start of the symptoms

“Seven days later, on March 3, I came down with chills and a low-grade fever (sinat) of 37.7 C. Days before symptoms appeared, I did not report to work,” Navarro wrote.

Aware of the possibility that he might have contracted Covid-19, he decided to play it safe and immediately went to St. Luke’s hospital. The doctor said he had mild symptoms, and Japan is not a Covid-19 hotspot, but he insisted on having the test.

The doctors discharged him after he took the test and went home in BGC. His wife immediately instructed their daughter and helpers to isolate.

Source: BODHINI

The test result

On the following day, the eve of March 4, he received frightening call from the DOH. They confirmed that he is positive of Covid-19. An ambulance promptly whisked him away to RITM in Alabang.

The next day, the entire household had themselves tested – their drivers included.

“At this point, while in RITM, I prayed fervently to spare all of them. My mind was raising with scenarios that Evie and Gia wouldn’t survive in RITM. All their tests came back negative. Thank God! All I need now is to worry about myself,” Navarro narrated.

The hardest part

“For two weeks in the hospital, it was not the physical pain that is frightening! It was the psychological effect that made it difficult. I was vomiting endlessly and had diarrhea probably due to stress.

While in confinement, I learned so many things which is probably why God put me to that test!”

Realizations

“I realized that ignorance and inaction will cause the virus to spread faster. That should anyone experience ANY symptoms, they should stay home and limit contact with others. They should NOT shrug-off any symptoms and downplay them. This community quarantine is something we need to protect the people that we love.”

“To my family, I was brave. I did not choose to get sick. But as soon as I did, I immediately had myself tested. I allowed myself quarantined in a hospital deprived of staff and funds. I was not in the most comfortable situation.”

“Because I got myself quickly tested, by my immediate confinement, I shielded my elderly parents. I shielded our senior household helpers. I shielded my family.”

“When people are NOT tested, they can walk around and socialize thinking they just have a cold or slight malaise.”

“Because I disclosed being infected to my workplace according to company protocol, all my contacts were tested by the Department of Health and quarantined. The DOH advised me that so far, my contacts have been cleared and are asymptomatic. For this, I am grateful.”

“We are still covering everyone and ourselves with prayer. So, God protect and bless us all”, Navarro stated.

Source: DOH

This realization is something we should really learn from. We don’t see the vicious enemy, we might be spreading it without knowing. It is best that we take extra precautions and stay at home as much as possible.

Related content: Covid-19: What to do at home during home quarantine

Love of his family

He continued his story, “I learned about the extraordinary love of my wife and daughter. Evie and her cousin, Annette, looked for people in the government that could help me while in RITM. Evie, together with her sister, Gela, tirelessly looked for a hospital that will take me in. Each and every one was refusing to take me in. I was desperate because the pneumonia that I acquired was from the hospital. I was coughing profusely, and chills were getting worse by the day. She kept me company for hours and days to keep me psychologically and emotionally sane! My wife prayed with me profusely! She called on people to pray for me. I knew I married right!”

“One day I heard a nurse say that there was an old man who tested positive and was waiting for a room in RITM. I cannot stay there anymore! And finally, God intervened. A hospital agreed to take me!”

Discharge and recovery

“On day 15, I was discharged from the hospital with no symptoms! I never knew my test results and perhaps will never know. I know those doctors are busy with more severe and critical cases.”

“Today, I am thankful for the prayers and well wishes of friends and family! I may not have responded to you at my darkest hours, but I will remember and will be forever grateful for you.”

Opportunity to help others

“In the two weeks I was in a hospital, I learned that there were many people who cannot afford a lockdown. They do not have food to survive! Our society has not given the proper dignity to our labor – depressed wages, poor working conditions.”

“I immediately took care of this when I was discharged from the hospital! I made sure that all the hands that feed us and help us will be financially capable to handle issues like this in the future!”

“God bless us all and keep safe!”

From this experience, we learn that life is really uncertain. We never know what tomorrow will bring. We are fighting an unknown enemy so let’s all do our part in this battle against Covid-19.

Everyday you wake up in the morning, always be thankful that you live to see another day. Let’s pray and help the nation heal as one.

Ailen Tomas
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