Monday, October 17, 2005


It was quarter past 4 of the 16th of January 1996, 15 minutes and my mother was on her way home from her office. She holds vital position in the local government of BULACAN as the PROVINCIAL ASSESSOR of our province at that time. Her phone rang and was immediately answered by her assistant. A town mayor, who is a brother of our then governor, was on the line and wanted to speak with my mother. So she calmly sat down and received the call. A few minutes after the momentous call, my mother's secretary noticed her to be pale, perspiring and trembling as if she has seen a ghost. She asked her if she was OK and my mother answered "He cursed me!" my mother said as tears rolled on her cheeks. "I am too old to deserve this." She uttered. "Do you have paracetamol tablets? my head is aching... please bring me to the hospital." Those were the last words my mother said before she fell into a deep coma.

She was rushed to SACRED HEART HOSPITAL a secondary hospital in our place and was diagnosed as having MI (myocardial infarction). She was given diazepam (Valium) "to calm her nerves" the attending physician told me. An EKG was also done and I was able to see the tracings when I arrived from Manila, I was working as a Surgical Resident back then. For me her EKG was normal but I didn't trust my reading then because of my inexperience with Internal Medicine stuff. My mother then was in deep sleep and I didn't bother to wake her up because the attending doctor assured me she will be fine.

Hours passed by and my mother still was in deep sleep. I decided to do some neurologic examination myself. Her pupils were pinpoint in size and were not reactive to light. I was pinching her nailbeds and I did not elicit a response. I thought my mother suffered a CVA (cerebrovascular accident). I called for her attending internist and told him my impression, however he stood firm on his diagnosis of MI. I told him I will bring my mother to Manila and he said OK.

We transfered her via an ambulance to ST. LUKE'S MEDICAL CENTER where an immediate cranial CT scan was done. The results was a shocking, huge intracranial bleed. The hematoma (blood clot)was so large it was pushing her brainstem (where her vital centers are)downwards. Initial assessment of her attending neurosurgeon, Dr. Gap Legaspi was not to operate anymore because her Glassgow Coma Scale score was below 6. She was intubated and was hooked to a mechanical ventilator because her breathing became shallow and she was having periods of apnea. During her attending neurologist's rounds, Dr. Mayette Cruz noticed improvement on my mother's Glassgow so she talked to Dr. Legaspi and they both agree to give my mother a chance to undergo hematoma evacuation.

After 3 major operations, one of which was a partial gastrectomy (my mother suffered massive gastric bleeding, probably due to the steriods and the stress), after 2 months in the ICU of St. Luke's, after 8 months of coma, after thousands of prayers from our family and friends, after all the trials my mother underwent, after 9 years, 9 months and 1 day from that fateful January 16, 1996, she is still alive. Although in a vegitative state.

All our trials we offered to GOD. His will was done. We already forgave the evil town mayor who caused this all. He is now a defeated candidate in his town. The doctor who misdiagnosed her was also forgiven, he walked away without any trouble. My family didn't even know he misdiagnosed our mother. I just can't imagine a myocardial infarction manifesting as a headache. I hope there will be no other MRS. HORNEDOs who will be misdiagnosed by him.

Right now my mother is here in Sydney, Australia with her husband, all her children and grandchildren.



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