By Nancy Jamolyn, Marine Payroll Supervisor
I am Nancy Catalina G. Jamolyn, a Marine Payroll Supervisor. I started again to work with TSM Group in 2004 after three long years of vacation from working in the office then was sent to Thome Singapore in February 2006. It will be my 18th year in Thome this December.
My story is about the experience I have gone through and the battle I have won versus the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
Last March 2021, I experienced severe coughing, which I thought was just exhaustion due to two consecutive weekends preparing for family gatherings. But then I got a fever, and my partner also got a fever. He went to see the doctor for a check-up, but he had to take a PCR test before that. It was positive. I already assumed I also had COVID as we exhibited the same symptoms. I consulted with a doctor online but was not satisfied as I also wanted to have an X-ray for proper diagnosis and prescription of medicines. I requested the help of HR to look for a hospital that would accommodate me for a check-up and treatment.
I was registered at a local hospital but needed to be picked up by an ambulance. Our municipality helped me by providing an Ambulance Form, so I had to wait for a hospital that would accommodate me. I was taken to the Makati Hospital, where I had to sit for more than 10 hours in the red zone area of the hospital. There were no free beds in the Emergency Area and even in the actual rooms, so more than ten (10) patients were waiting in wheelchairs.
The doctor came to see me and asked if I could be transferred to another hospital because I was not a priority – I am not a city cardholder and so not considered a priority.
That is where my nightmare began. The doctor asked me to leave the hospital due to technicalities, and no other hospitals would take me. I still waited, weak, tired and hungry. One patient gave me water and crackers – God bless her! I was sitting in a very uncomfortable wheelchair until the next day! There was no hospital to take me, and I was getting weaker and weaker in the meantime.
My niece was able to get an ambulance to get me out of the hospital. My breathing was unstable, and I was getting weaker, but there was no choice but to bring me home. I was already very helpless, frustrated, and scared at this point. At home, I was getting worse! I could hardly eat, sleep and breathe. I only had one (1) small oxygen tank, which I could carry with me, but breathing was difficult.
I had been coordinating with Thome and the HR Department, who arranged to take me back to Makati Hospital and spoke to the Management to give me priority – and what a different scenario! Suddenly, they were helpful to me, taking me to my bed right away. But having stayed in that hospital for several days gave me a glimpse of the gravity of the COVID 19 situation. Patients were everywhere waiting for available beds. Oxygen tanks were scattered around, and intubated patients were passing by. I even saw some patients that died! There was a lot of frustration and desperation! It was quite a tragic scene.
Due to the situation and stress around me, my health condition continued to deteriorate. My breathing was worsening, and my oxygen level dropped by 46% – so I was immediately intubated! I thought at that time, this is it! My body was not responding to any treatment.. I prayed to God to help me survive. I breathed, ate, and barely talked through the tube; then, I went suddenly into a coma. I didn’t know what happened after that. I only knew that I was in a coma when I was able to talk to my sister who told me. I woke up from the coma, but there was a long road ahead of me – blood transfusion, UTI, etc. It was a tough recovery – one I would not wish even on my worst enemy! I had to endure it all and condition my body to recover.
Then one day, I was told that I would be transferred to the medical ward for my full recovery. I no longer have pneumonia! I was so happy to know that I was healed! My recovery continued at home.
I am very thankful to everyone who extended financial help and called and sent messages of support and encouragement. I am blessed and grateful and pray that they all receive the same grace that God has given me. It taught me that prayer, determination, and faith could do miracles. I pray that whoever will get this dreaded disease will be healed, and may they have strength and trust that God is good all the time.