Medical Frontliner Turned COVID-19 Patient Retains Positive Outlook in Life!
Choose Philippines | April 15, 2020
Story by Hernel Tocmo
Photos by Nico Centillas Torreon DP
While most people are staying home amid the coronavirus pandemic, they start doing things to keep boredom away. Thus, Social media app TikTok is becoming more popular, not just in homes but even in hospitals, as confined patients spend their time on the platform to pass away time.
Instead of feeling depressed and anxious while undergoing treatment for COVID-19, medical frontliner turned patient Nico Torreon finds ways to remain optimistic, believing that there is hope in every distressing situation. The 28-year old nursing assistant joined the bandwagon, uploading dance videos on TikTok while in his hospital bed, occasionally standing during other videos to properly execute his moves. His cheerful outlook is a mechanism to fight desolation, as Nico recovers in the hospital alone, away from his worrying family in Bukidnon. “Parang yun yung naging way ko para makita nila na lumalaban ako sa sitwasyon ko, na kahit may masakit sa akin, nahihilo, masakin ang likod. Nakakaya kong ipakita sa kanila na kaya ko, na kaya kong labanan ang virus (It’s my way to show to everyone that I’m fighting, even though I’m not feeling well, dizzy, back pains. I am able to show them that I can beat the virus),” he said.
His cheerful outlook is also a mechanism to fight desolation, as Nico recovers in the hospital alone, away from his worrying family in Bukidnon. Nico, who has been working at the emergency room in St. Luke’s Medical Center, had developed early symptoms and got tested on March 23, receiving confirmed results that he had acquired the disease on March 27. He was immediately admitted to the hospital, where he’s been serving for seven years. Hesitant to break the news, Nico kept it secret at first, but later decided to tell his family about his condition. “Malungkot, iyak lang sila. Umiiyak din talaga ako sobra kasi hindi ko alam kung ano ang mangyayari sa akin. Kaya nagkulong lang ako sa kwarto (Sad, they’re crying. I am also crying hard because I don’t know what will happen to me. So, I just stayed in my room).”
The medical frontliner could not trace where he got the virus, saying he had no direct contact with patients and that they always wore Personal Protective Equipment while on duty. To date, Nico has been admitted for two weeks already. He shares that the symptoms were unlike any that he experienced with previous flu episodes in the past. “Siguro yung sakit ng ulo kasi sobrang sakit, parang mabibiyak. Tapos sa likod ko parang humina, tapos mabigat sa dibdib (I had a major headache, I felt like my head will almost break. Then, my back felt weak then I cannot breathe properly).”
However, his condition is now improving and even tested negative in his latest result. Nico shares he still needs another confirmatory test before he will be considered fully recovered from COVID-19. Aside from constant communication with his family through video calls and social media updates about his condition, Nico also strengthens his faith by praying to God that he can surpass this dangerous ordeal so he can resume his medical duties to serve more people, especially those who infected with COVID-19.
He said he also realized more the importance of frontliners in saving people’s lives, and the support of his family in these trying times. “Dapat talaga mag-stay sa bahay. Ingatan niyo sarili niyo, mahalin niyo ang buhay niyo (Stay at home. Take care of yourself, love yourself).”