SURVIVOR'S STORY: How lawyer Hector Soliman and his family of 13 win battle vs COVID-19

by Bernie V. Franco
Sep 8, 2021
A family whose 13 members all tested of COVID-19, how were they able to beat the deadly virus? The patriarch Hector Soliman tells his story.
PHOTO/S: shutterstock

Isang buong pamilya, mula five-month-old na bata hanggang lolo at lola, ang nagpositibo sa COVID-19.

Kuwento ni Hector D. Soliman, isang public interest lawyer, 13 miyembro ng kanyang pamilya ang ngayo'y matatawag na COVID-19 survivors.

Noong September 2, 2021, ibinahagi ni Hector ang kanilang survival story na may pamagat na, “THE DAY OUR HOUSE STOOD STILL: My COVID Memoirs.”

Si Hector ay apat na dekada nang public-interest lawyer at may tatlong apo.

Sinimulan ni Hector ang kanyang kuwento sa paglalarawan ng "typical day” sa kanilang tahanan, kung saan ang kanyang mga apo—ang seven-month-old na si Gian Lucca at four-year-old Vujan—ay iiwan sa kanilang bahay para maglaro.

“All the other members of the household had either work from home, school from home and other chores. This was our typical day,” paglalarawan ni Hector.

Pero isang kaganapan ang nangyari noong August 15, 2021, na nagpabago sa takbo ng kanilang buhay.

Nagpositibo sa COVID-19 noong araw na iyon si Hector. Di naglaon, nagpositibo rin ang kanyang misis.

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“I caught mine in the hospital while attending to my wife Dinky, who also later turned out positive.

“The contagion was quick and ferocious —my wife and I, my son and his wife, my daughter and my son-in-law, my five-month-old grandson, four household staff and one driver, and one niece—we all tested positive.

“A total of 13 persons.

“On that day, the house stood still.

“We were all in quarantine, not knowing what to do next and trying to figure out the best approach to this illness.”

Makalipas ang higit dalawang linggo, nalampasan ni Hector at labindalawa pang miyembro ng kanyang pamilya ang pasaning ito.

Ani Hector, “Fast forward to today, the second of September 2021, all of us have survived the disease.”

Ano ang ginawa nina Hector para makaligtas ang kanilang buong pamilya sa kinatatakutang sakit?

Narito ang karanasan ni Hector na maaaring magsilbing survival tips sa mga dinapuan ng COVID-19.

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A COVID-19 SURVIVAL STORY

Bagamat naka-survive sila, may mga bakas pa ring iniwan ang COVID-19 sa ibang dinapuan sa kanilang pamilya.

“Dinky was the most fragile, since she has a lot of co-morbidities, but was fortunate when COVID struck that she was already in the hospital,” pagpapatuloy ni Hector.

“My son Dino had severe shortness of breath, and was confined in the hospital for six days, but also got over the virus.

“Everybody else just stayed home or in a quarantine center, and eventually survived.”

INTERLOCKING CIRCLES OF PRAYER

Lubos-lubos ang pasasalamat ni Hector sa mga kaibigang nagdasal para sa kanila.

“I could personally feel myself being raised, and offered to the Lord, with the prayer that He will take charge and do what is best for all of us.”

Sunud-sunod daw ang inorganisang virtual “Healing Masses, Novenas, and then Thanksgiving Masses” ng mga kaibigan at mga kapamilya nila.

Bukod sa dasal, nagsilbi raw itong pagkakataon para kumustahin ang isa’t isa.

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Paglalarawan ng abogado, “A very social and spiritual event.

“By the power of videoconferencing, friends from North America and elsewhere are able to join us, and was a mini-reunion of sorts.”

FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO THE RESCUE

Kung isang kasambahay lang daw sana ang nahawa, makakagalaw pa ang iba. Pero lahat ng apat na kasambahay nila ay nagpositibo.

“We all are dealing with our own sickness, the pace of which is different from one another,” ani Hector.

Nagkaisa ang kanilang mga kaibigan, kapamilya, at kahit mga kapitbahay na tulungan sila.

“Some have cooked food for us, some buy fruits and groceries, and some even volunteer to have our laundry washed.

“Little things that make life bearable. Again, we cannot thank these people enough,” ani Hector.

MAKE THE BARANGAY YOUR FRIEND

Hindi nakalimutang pasalamatan ni Hector ang barangay kagawad na tumulong sa kanila.

“I have to say kudos to Barangay Kagawad Tintin Suguitan (the kagawad in charge of COVID patients) who has been very helpful with our needs.”

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Malaking tulong daw na may ipinatutupad na “standard protocol” ang kanilang barangay na ipa-X-ray ang mga positive patients, para matukoy kung mayroon silang pneumonia.

“The barangay with the help of the City Epidemiological Services Unit or CESU provided us this service and the barangay also offered to quarantine some of our staff in order to decongest the quarantine procedures in our household.”

Ang apat daw sa kanilang household staff ay ipinasok sa quarantine facility ng Quezon City government sa Novaliches.

Pagkalipas ng dalawang linggo hanggang labing-walong (18) araw na quarantine, naka-recover ang apat na household staff members.

“Once the quarantine is over, the local doctor provides them with a medical certificate and the city government provides an ambulance to bring them home,” pagbabahagi ni Hector.

HOME CARE IS THE WAY TO GO

Kung pagbabasehan ang statistics, majority sa mga nagpositibo sa COVID-19 na may mild at moderate symptoms ay nakaka-recover sa bahay.

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“My experience has shown that with careful monitoring and under the watchful eye of a medical team, COVID can be managed through home care," sabi ng abogado.

Sa kaso ni Hector, nakatulong ang COVID Home Care Program ng “Medical City in conjunction with HelpLink,” at ang kanyang dalawang attending physicians.

“Out of the thirteen persons who have tested positive, only one (my son Dino) had to be brought to the hospital when his oxygen levels dipped to around 90.

“And even then, he did not stay too long in the hospital after Remdesivir was successfully administered to him.

“I was not even aware that this same drug can be administered from home, which was the case with my daughter-in-law.

“A doctor came to our house for five days and administered this drug intravenously and it worked.”

Ang Remdesivir ay isang anti-viral medication na ginagamit sa pag-treat sa COID-19 patients.

VACCINATION IS KEY TO PROTECTION

Paalala ni Hector, importante ang COVID-19 vaccine.

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Sa kaso niya, naging malaking tulong ang vaccine para maligtas ang kanyang buhay.

“I have had a double dose of Astra Zeneca when I got my COVID, but my O2 level has never gone down lower than 97 in the whole fourteen days of my quarantine.

“My symptoms were fever, loss of appetite, and tightness of my chest.

“But I could breathe, thank God, and I did not lose my sense of smell and taste, no diarrhea and no intense coughing.”

Mas masidhi raw ang naranasan ng kanyang anak na hindi nabakunahan.

“Compared to my son, who had to be hospitalized due to dropping O2 levels and intense coughing.

“And he is unvaccinated, and so is my daughter-in-law.

“My daughter and her husband are also fully vaccinated and as of today, she and the hubby have gone back to work and their symptoms were very mild. Vaccines work; believe me.”

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ON THE ROAD TO HEALING

Ngayon ay patuloy ang “recuperation stage” ng pamilya ni Hector.

“We have made our garden our best friend. A place to get sunlight, take light meals in the veranda, do our deep breathing exercises, and be amazed at the wonder of life.”

Pakiramdam daw niya, nagkaroon ng bagong kulay ang buhay.

“It is as if we have all been given a new lease on life, and the simple act of being able to breathe deeply and feel that oxygen flow through the body is a new sensation never again to be forgotten and taken for granted.

“We thank God first of all, and family and friends, work colleagues who have provided support, counsel, advice and prayers through these very difficult times. We shall overcome, and we look forward to better times ahead,” pagtatapos ni Hector.

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A family whose 13 members all tested of COVID-19, how were they able to beat the deadly virus? The patriarch Hector Soliman tells his story.
PHOTO/S: shutterstock
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