Thursday, April 23, 2015

2014 September

Chemotherapy for Virgilio 
The boy with eye cancer from Southern Leyte was transferred from Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao to undergo chemotherapy.  The doctors advised that the cancer was far advanced, and the chemotherapy could not treat the patient anymore but it could relieve the pain and discomfort in his eyes by shrinking the mass, thus improving the quality of his life in his remaining days.  So chemotherapy was administered.

A few days after chemotherapy, he contracted measles. Nevertheless, he was not a difficult patient.  He was very patient and appreciated every little gift given to him:  a little book, a little toy, milk, fruits... he seldom cried and rarely complained.  Very brave.

Life Support for a Patient with End-Stage Renal Failure
A patient in Sarangani Province who had decided not to undergo dialysis sought support from the mission for medicines and food.  She could barely tolerate food so for a few days, she was admitted to the public hospital for hydration and nutrition.  When she felt a little better, she asked to be discharged from the hospital, determined to face death without extraordinary care, not wishing to be a burden to her family or to other people.  She wanted to face death bravely. She was a pagan.

The mission staff who came to deliver food and medicines knelt by her bedside and sang the prayer of St. Ignatius, "Take, O Lord and receive, my memory, will, understanding..."  Before the song was finished, the patient, in agony, said, "God, have mercy on me!"  Her best friend was amazed.  She had tried in vain for a long time to invite this patient to pray and learn catechism, but she was simply ignored by the disinterested patient.  Now, hearing her friend pray, she was touched and urged her friend to go on praying.

Blessed be God for His tender mercies.  The Eucharistic Crusaders had prayed the Rosary for this patient while on their way to the village to accompany the mission staff who was going to deliver food and medicines.  While the mission staff was with the patient, the Crusaders continued their prayers.

To better prepare the patient for a good death, a regular visit was scheduled.

Skills Training for Patients in Tacloban and Sarangani Province
American volunteer Paul Kimball initiated the training of patients on production of pearl rosaries that would be sold to friends and benefactors abroad; and little wooden altars to be used as chests for rosary beads and as a coin bank to encourage families in the mission villages to save for spiritual activities - to buy books for spiritual reading and to pay for their fare in going to Mass.

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