University of Santo Tomas Hospital (USTH) resident doctor Carmina Fuentebella was able to celebrate her birthday as a COVID-19 survivor.
The young doctor’s story of struggle as an infected frontliner became a rallying point for victims and health workers as it went around social media and gathered prayers and encouragement from netizens.
Dr. Fuentebella went on social media on April 24, 2020, to express gratitude for being alive on her 27th birthday.
“Today, April 24, 2020, I celebrate my 27th birthday with probably the best gift yet—the gift of life.
“These past couple of weeks have been really tough for me, but I could only imagine how much harder it has been for everyone else. It took me quite a while to fully comprehend what I just went through, but I’m really grateful to everyone who has been with me all the way,” Fuentebella wrote on her Facebook post.
She then thanked her fellow health workers, family, and friends who cared for her through her ordeal.
“To all my consultants, fellows, co-residents, nurses, family, words cannot express how thankful I am for all of you. For going out of your way to see if I was still breathing, for staying up countless nights to make sure I was still mentally okay, for enduring with me through every step of this hardship, and for all the things you did I was too sick to even know—from the bottom of my heart, I really really thank you.
“To my friends, and to everyone who generously offered me their love and countless prayers, although I may not be able to personally thank every single one of you, please know that I am eternally grateful for the overwhelming support you all have given me.
Dr. Fuentebella credited her recovery to multiple efforts by a community and pledged to continue working as a doctor at the USTH.
“It felt like a dead end, but through everyone’s efforts and prayers I’m finally on my way to full recovery. I may be down, but rest assured that I will come back and once again battle at the frontlines—stronger and maybe a *little bit* more careful than before. It is, and it will always be an honor for me to train and serve under USTH 💛
The COVID-19 survivor then encouraged her fellow frontliners to keep fighting the disease.
“Finally, to all my fellow frontliners, I pray you all remain safe as this pandemic continues to wreak havoc. We still have a long way to go, but I hope we can all stay healthy as we try to defeat this virus. God bless everyone and stay safe!
* THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LETTERS, PHOTOS AND VIDEO GREETINGS ♥️”
JOURNEY OF RECOVERY
Updates on Dr. Fuentebella’s journey were posted by her cousins, Rj Palad and Trixie Fuentebella-Aldaba.
On April 13, Rj posted on Facebook a request for prayers as the young doctor was already using a ventilator to help her breathe.
“Hey cuz Carmina Fuentebella! You are a blessing to everyone around you! Keep on fighting! The whole family and so many friends are praying for you.” Rj Palad said in the post.
On April 17, Trixie Fuentebella-Aldaba reported that Dr. Carmina was still in the ICU INTUBATED and hooked to ventilator and that it will take another 2-3 days before she could probably be extubated.
On April 18, Trixie thanked everyone for the concern and prayers as Dr. Carmina was extubated that day and is showing signs of improving.
On April 19, Rj reported that the doctor was on her way to complete recovery.
“She is still in the hospital regaining her strength, but we are almost out of the tunnel,” posted Rj.
“The parents, siblings, relatives and friends are truly grateful to everyone who were with us in prayers and sacrifices. We are also eternally in debt to the doctors and nurses who made sure that she gets to where she is now. You are all blessings to the whole family. We can’t thank you all enough for the spiritual and emotional support. May you all be blessed and be protected by the good grace of our Lord.
Let us not forget to also pray for all the people most especially the frontliners, who are going thru the same ordeal. may all of them receive our Lord’s blessings,” Rj added.
Rev. Fr. Ronnie B. De Paz also offered a mass for the healing of the country and thanksgiving for the young doctor at the Kapilya ng Mahal na Poong Hesus Nazareno in Imus Cavite.
The day after her birthday post, Dr. Carmina again went on social media to say she was surprised at all the attention she has been getting, particularly from media who wanted to interview her. The realization made her cry.
“So, I was kinda… practicing how to talk for interviews, I suddenly found myself crying so hard, realizing so many people are happy that I’m alive.
“What did I do to deserve so much love?… from Filipinos? Foreigners?
Dr. Fuentebella then sent out encouragement to people.
“For people who are really depressed right now, please don’t give up on life. Life is so beautiful to give up.
“In this world, someone, maybe a lot of people are happy that you’re alive.
“I wished I was dead because it was so painful, but everyone fought with me. I’m here smiling because of everyone.
“My hands are trembling because of so much happiness.
“If this post saves a life, I’m happy.
“I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. LET’S KEEP PRAYING FOR EVERYONE TO KEEP FIGHTING!!”
Game of Thrones (GOT) actor Miltos Yerolemou sent a video salute all the way from the United Kingdom to Pinoy frontliners at The Medical City, saying, “Bayani po kayong lahat”.
SEND WORDS OF COMFORT AND CHEERS to Dr. Carmina Fuentebella and her family for this story of survival from COVID-19 that inspires the nation to keep fighting.
Want to know how to be a Proud Pinoy? Like, Follow, Subscribe to GoodNewsPilipinas.com, and our socials Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Good News Pilipinas! TV on YouTube, for new story notifications, and e-mail newsletters for updates on more Filipino Pride stories