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PIA Press Release
2009/06/24

There is life after A(H1N1), says survivor

Tacloban City (June 24) -- This gentleman OFW does not want to be remembered to be the first case to fully recover in Region, thanks to government interventions, he would rather be known as an advocate helping the government inform the people on what to do when they are stricken by the dreaded virus.

Thus, this man whom we will call Ari and his wife Marj readily accepted the Philippine Information Agency's invitation to be interviewed.

Declared to be fully cured and was discharged from the government hospital after one week confinement, Ari is now back in his family's new home with his wife who took care of him at the hospital.

He and his wife are now nursing their 8-year old son who also contracted the dreaded A(H1N1) virus. His two other children and his wife were tested too, and were declared negative of the virus.

Ari, contrary to previous reports is not a seaman. He is an offshore worker in Singapore where he works for five weeks and then comes home for another five weeks to be with his young family.

He said that the last time he left the country was on May 3 and there was already the A(H1N1) scare. He did not give so much important to it because he is used to coming back and forth that route and that he didn't believe he will contract the disease.

The time for him to come back to the Philippines came on June 9, and so to home he went, spending his flying time sleeping in the plane. After three days of fever and showing of the other symptoms, he and his wife went to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center for consultation, after learning that it is the only hospital that facilitates such cases.

On Monday, the patient was already feeling better, without any fever. He wanted to go home already but the result of the throat swab examination arrived from Manila and so the DOH told him to remain for further observation.

He said he was a little bit impatient knowing that he will only be with his family for five weeks but he and his wife were able to get the number of the good DOH Director and was able to talk to him and so he decided to abide by the director's orders. Besides, he had with him his laptop so he was able to free himself from being bored.

He said it is important that people having the symptoms immediately seek medical attention before it is too late for them, their families and the whole community.

He also encouraged the people to eat nutritious food and take vitamin so that they will have stronger resistance to diseases. He said his wife has good resistance because she was the one who took care of him but she was not contaminated by the virus.

The entire family were ostracized because of his contracting the virus, Aris said. He said his children and his wife suffered humiliation from people who conducted text brigades against him.

His wife Marj said the children suffered the most because even if they immediately absented themselves from school, parents advised their children not to go near them.

At first Marj was angry but later on she entrusted all her problems to the Lord and now she understands what happened.

She is praying that her children will not suffer a social stigma when they go back to school.

Her two children who are negative to the disease are currently staying in an apartment together with their Grandma and their yaya. Though they are negative, all of them are taking medicines prescribed by the doctors.

There is life after A(H1N1), Aris and Marj said. All the people must do is to heed the precautionary measures that the government is advising them to do—sanitation, proper handwashing, proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, and social distancing.

Both were quick to add, "... and pray more to Him." (PIA 8) [top]

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