Ikinabahala ng marami ang pagsailalim ni Gary Valenciano sa open heart surgery noong nakaraang Linggo, May 6, dahil sa nakitang bara sa left anterior descending artery sa kanyang puso.
Bago pa man natuklasan ang kanyang heart condition, marami ang bilib kay Gary dahil sa kabila ng kanyang pagiging diabetic ay napanatili pa rin nito ang kasiglahan at pagiging isang total performer sa loob ng kanyang mahigit na tatlong dekada sa showbiz.
Sa panayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at Cinema News kay Paolo Valenciano noong nakaraang May 9 sa Homerock studios sa Greenmeadows, siniguro nito na nasa mabuting kalagayan na ang ama at nasa recovery stage na ito ngayon.
Si Paolo ang panganay na anak ni Gary sa asawa nitong si Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano.
Masaya niyang balita, “My dad’s doing fine now, he’s recovering.
“According to the doctors, sabi nila, for someone his age na may diabeters, he’s really improved a lot.
“He’s a walking miracle talaga na di nila naisip na ganun kabilis ang recovery niya, although from time to time, he still feels yung tightness sa chest niya.
“May severe pain pa rin, pero thank God today he was able to walk.
“Nakalabas na siya ng CCU [cardiac care unit].”
THE SHOCKING NEWS. Ibinahagi ni Paolo na mahigit anim na oras pala ang tinagal ng operasyon ng ama at sa loob ng mga oras na ito ay nakaramdam sila ng kaba.
Kuwento pa niya, “They told us that the procedure will last four hours, and I think it lasted 6½.
“There were times nung Sunday na kinabahan talaga kami, but the doctors were all very positive even though there were some delays. Nobody panicked.
“They kept telling us that despite his age, and being diabetic for 30 years na, they cannot believe he was as strong as he was, na he was recovering that way.”
Open book sa showbiz na diabetic si Gary, pero hindi nabalita kahit kailan na may sakit ito sa puso. Kahit ang pamilya nga nila ay nagulat talaga sa nangyari.
Pag-amin ni Paolo, “Actually, lahat kami nabigla din.
“Three weeks, four weeks ago, he was completely fine.
“Though in the last couple of months na napapagod na siya, akala niya it was because of his age, but the doctors are now saying it could have been the reason because of the blockage.
“Medyo nalungkot kami nang kaunti. When he went to the hospital akala ng doctors di siya masyadong serious.
“Akala nila it could be resolved through medications, and then nagulat na lang kami na he went there for a check-up.
“Then sinabi na lang ng Mom sa mga kids na, 'Your Dad has to go through a bypass [operation] tomorrow.'
“It was that fast. It took a lot of time for us to let it sink in.
“Actually, nung sinabi sa amin, di pa namin masyadong na-accept.
“Siyempre, when you're told na magkaka-open heart surgery, that’s pretty serious.
“But you know, we’re very thankful he didn’t have a heart attack.
“We’re very thankful we caught it early on.
“That’s what the doctors were telling him—'Buti na lang when he felt a little tightness he came right away. Kasi if not, it could have been a different story.'
“He likes to bike a lot, actually doctors already admitted to us that they are not sure what caused it.
“There were several reasons that could have caused it, but they cannot pinpoint kung ano yung cause ng blockage.
“Right now, that’s what they are saying—that it has something to do with his diabetes.
“But my Dad kasi, relatively healthy lifestyle, particularly with his food.
“Sometimes he has some salt, whatever, but because of his condition na diabetes, he cannot eat unhealthy food.
“It really took us by suprise na nagkaganun siya.”
MOM'S BRAVERY. Sa pinagdaanang ito ng kanilang pamilya, bilib na bilib si Paolo sa tapang at tatag na pinakita ng kanilang ina.
Lahad niya, “I’m gonna give it to my mom. She’s really being the strongest one in the family right now.
“Right before the procedure, I mean there’s a little tension within the family.
“First time naming maka-experience ng ganito.
“It was really my mom who kept us all together, who was with him.
“Like Gab, Kiana and I, we have work also, but we were trying our best to be there for him.
“But it was really my mom who was able to drop everything and stay there with him. It really has strengthen the family.”
Para kay Paolo, ang nangyari kanilang ama ay higit na nagpatatag at nagpatibay sa samahan nila bilang isang pamilya.
“We discussed it as a family.
“It was really hard for us because it was always either I was hospitalized, Kiana got hospitalized or Gab.
“It’s always our dad or mom who'd take good care of us.
“It was a little tough to see him like that 'coz he’s always strong, healthy. We grew up seeing him like that.
“That was a little tough but I think it brought us closer because we had to come together to really just help him do the simplest things, like from getting up on his bed to getting up.
“That’s the kind of experience I think that really brings the family together,” pagmamalaki niya.
ON THE WAY TO RECOVERY. Kinumusta din namin kay Paolo kung paano ang mga shows kung saan napapanood si Gary tulad ng ASAP at Your Voice Sounds Familiar kung saan isa siya sa mga judges kasama sina Sharon Cuneta at Ogie Alcasid.
Sabi niya, “I just came form there [hospital] now.
“The energy is still there, parang atat na siyang makalabas ng ospital.
“He still has some difficulty, like lying down or getting up.
“It was last night when he was able to stand up and walk around, and ngayon, he asked...
“Like in the middle of the night last night, sabi ng Mom ko, parang he asked the nurse if he could just walk around the hospital.
“He was able to walk around. Of course, they were guiding him, but he’s recovering pretty well.”
“We’ve been discussing yung mga plans niya after this.
“The doctor said that pag naka-recover na siya, he'll be able to dance again.
“They are saying mga three to four months.
“I’m hoping that he recovers faster because, you know, that’s what he loves, he loves to do that.
“This is the time also for our family to really reassess everything, kaunting soul searching.
“Sabi ko sa pamilya ko na parang once he recovers, siyenpre there are things na kailangan naming i-adjust kasi it cannot be business as usual, but he will be back.
“The doctors said after about four months, if everything goes according to plan, he might be stronger than he was before.
“According to the doctors, they don’t want him to dance for the next four months.
“But it looks like after a month or a month and a half, he'll be able to start singing again.
“He'll be able to start taping again. They just told him na kailangan siguro for the four months wag munang sumayaw.”
Tinanong din si Paolo kung mangingibang-bansa ang pamilya niya habang nagpapagaling ang ama.
Pahayag niya, “We’re supposed to go to the States sometime this year to see my grandma.
“We still don’t know if it will push through, we’re just very thankful that it didn’t get any worse.
“We’re just focusing on just getting him to relax, stop thinking about work.
“So far he is still thinking about work pa, iniisip na niya ang ASAP, Your Face Sounds Familiar, but we’re telling him, 'Relax first, take it easy, rest.'
“He didn’t get a lot time to just rest.”
THANKFUL FOR SUPPORT. Sa huli ay nagpasalamat naman si Paolo sa lahat ng mga artista, singers at fans na nagdasal at nagpadala ng mensahe sa ama.
“You know, we were actually very surprised at the response of the public.
“Nakita rin namin as a family how many people in the industry, how many people support him.
“I think it really helped, especially during the procedure when he was experiencing the severe pain.
"It really helped that we got so much support from the industry.
“It didn’t matter where they were from, what channel they were from.
“He just got so much support and our family is very much thankful for that,” muli niyang pagpapasalamat.