Thursday, November 14, 2013

Up close with a Yolanda survivor

This is a short narrative I shared with my colleagues who helped me pool resources to provide assistance to our colleague who is assigned in Tacloban and whose family just escaped the wrath of Yolanda. We visited them at the Makati Medical Center as the daughter is  being treated for the deep wound she sustained at the height of the storm surge. It took her four days to get medical attention as the only functioning hospital in Tacloban was short on medicine and staff.


Hi Friends, 
Just to share with you our short encounter with Mano Venny, his wife Beth and their daughter Bianca last night. Mara and I went there to bring them your donated stuff. The first thing I ask Mano Venny was if he still remembered me as it has been many years that I haven't been back in Tacloban branch. It was the only thing I could think to sort of 'break the ice' and lighten the mood because seeing them there in a small hospital room was heartbreaking.

Bianca has sustained an inch-deep wound on the right side of her belly near the waistline area. At first I thought it was only a slight wound. But when the nurse dressed it, we saw the it's really deep and long, about four or five inches. My knees went weak. She's only 11. She's so brave. Mano Venny and Beth have some superficial wounds and a lot of bruises. Beth showed us her purplish bruises on her thighs.

They were fortunate to have held onto an electric wire when the storm surge hit their area (near the airport). You can just imagine their ordeal. They slept for a few days in their sidecar (tryke) that was not washed out because a mango tree fell on its roof! Nature has a wicked sense of humor.

We brought them dinner from Tapa King that they only ate when we left to fetch the mattress we have to leave in the car because the MMC guard won't allow us to bring it up without a nurse's signed waiver. I believe that they had a better sleeping arrangement last night as they can already lie on their backs. Monday and Tuesday, they had to sleep side-by-side on a very narrow bench. The mattress will fit in just right on the little space left between the hospital cot and the screen.

We promised to return to give them a cellphone so they can communicate with their families back in Tacloban and other areas that they have no way of getting in touch with and a pair of rubber slippers for both of them. Before we left, we handed them a card with a little note of encouragement from all of us and some cash that were given by all of you, to help tide them over the next few days.

Beth, Mano Venny and Bianca. (Yolanda survivors)

Thanks again guys for your generosity. We've helped one family for now. I hope that we can reach out to more people especially those farmers in Samar and Leyte that do not have a company to support them. If you can, please take part in this other drive we're spearheading. We hope to raise some cash to buy Hygiene Kits. Last year, we raised P10,000; half of it was donated to RockEd's underwear drive, the other half was donated to UNICEF.

Help us, help more people.



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