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UAE-based COVID-19 survivor shares whole ordeal to parents on his birthday

A UAE-based Filipino who recently survived coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has shared his experience with his family and parents on his birthday, after hiding his diagnosis to them for over a month.

Arthur Marasigan, 36, who was recently declared recovered on July 22, said that only his siblings knew his ordeal because they didn’t want their parents to worry, despite him missing them so much.

“Inilihim muna namin sa magulang namin kasi ayaw namin sila mag-alala sa akin may nerbyos kasi ung inay ko at may history ng sakit sa puso,” he said.

Now that he has survived the disease, he had planned to do his big reveal on his birthday, September 4, as a way to mark his gratitude for what he says is a “second life.”

“Pinlano kong sabihin sa parents ko sa kaarawan ko. Kumabaga pasasalamat ko na rin kay God sa pag-gabay Niya at sa pangalawang buhay na ipinagkaloob nya sa akin,” he added.

He said his parents were shocked when he revealed what happened, crying and sobbing as told his story of how he battled COVID-19.

“Umiiyak sila the whole time na nagkukwento ako. Nagpapasalamat lang sila kay God na binigyan ako ng guidance at protection para maka-survive ako sa battle na ito,” he said.

The OFW added that he will go back to the country this month to spend some time with them, because he said they want to take care of them and hug them for what happened.

“Nag alala pa rin sila kasi sa akin eh, gusto nila makita nila ako ng personal na okay na okay na ako. I want them to know also how much I love them. After all, God and Family are everything,” he noted.

Marasigan said he tested positive on July 8 following symptoms such as fever, chest and back pains, dry throat, breathing difficulties, loss of taste and smell, and body chills.

After being diagnosed with pneumonia due to COVID-19, he stayed in the hospital for 15 days.

“Nung una, nakaramdam din ako ng takot at pangamba kasi hindi ko alam kung ano ba ang pwedeng mangyari sa akin. Ang tanging alam ko lang eh tumawag sa Panginoon at humingi ng saklolo, lakas at patnubay,” he said.

The OFW added that there were times when he was feeling very vulnerable and depressed due to his situation, and the fact that he couldn’t tell his parents about his illness.

He added that his anxiety and paranoia, according to his doctors, are what was causing his immune system to drop.

“Bigla na lang tumulo ang mga luha ko kasi parang naawa ako sa sarili ko pero kelangan kong paglabanan eh para hindi manghina ang katawan ko kasi isa rin sa advise ng doktor ko eh wag masyado magworry at always think positive kasi ung sobrang pagaalala eh nagiging dahilan din daw yun sa pagbaba ng immune system,” noted Marasigan.

Effects despite survival

He said that despite recovering from the disease, he still experiences irregularities in his bodies, including being easily tired, constant sore throat and chest pains, and sleeping difficulties.

“Kahit konting kilos ko lang o kapag maglalakad ako kahit malapit lang eh mabilis agad akong hingalin at mapagod na parang kinakapos yung hininga ko. Nanunuyo pa rin minsan ang lalamunan ko lalo na kapag madaling araw kaya naapektuhan din pagtulog ko. Minsan 3 to 4 hours lang tulog ko. Nakakaramdam pa rin ako ng chest pain,” he said.

He has also become extremely paranoid due to the trauma caused by having the disease.

He also said that he worries about getting it again constantly, and that he has become afraid to almost touch anything.

“Para akong napa-paranoid kasi pakiramdam ko lahat ng mahahawakan ko eh may virus, nakakaramdam pa rin ako ng takot at pag-alala kasi ayoko na maranasan uli yung hirap tapos yung nag-iisa ka pa sa ospital maliban na lang sa mga doktor at nurse. Nahihirapan rin ako matulog sa gabi lalo na kapag inaatake ako ng anxiety,” added Marasigan.

Thankful to the UAE

Marasigan said that he would not have survived the ordeal if not for the swift and efficient action done by the UAE and its authorities and frontliners. He added that he assured his parents he is okay because of how the UAE medical sector has handled the battle against COVID-19.

The OFW noted that the country works “the hardest to assure that all its citizens and residents are healthy and safe.”

“Buong puso akong nagpapasalamat sa UAE officials, Dubai Health Authorities, at sa lahat ng staff especially sa doctor at nurses ko na nag-alaga sa akin,” he said.

He also advised everyone to be extra careful because COVID-19 knows no age, race, social status, and gender—calling on everyone to adhere to the country’s safety protocols to ensure prevention from the virus.

Marasigan also advised everyone to boost their immune system by getting enough sleep, taking vitamins, and eating a healthy and balanced diet.

“COVID-19 is real. It’s a matter of life and death. Wala pong pinipili itong sakit na ito kaya dapat nating seryosohin. Kung maari eh stay at home na lamang muna kung wala din namang importanteng gagawin o bibilhin sa labas ng bahay,” he said.

The OFW also said that he has reflected on life so much after he survived the disease, saying that it gave him a chance to realize the importance of making things right and being grateful for life.

“Madaming lesson ang natutunan ko sa karanasan kong ito gaya ng mas naging matatag ang faith ko kay God at mas bigyan ng importansya at pagmamahal ang pamilya kasi pamilya mo lang talaga ang tunay mong makakaramay sa lahat ng sitwasyon,” added Marasigan.

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan gathers stories on a wide array of topics, particularly on the Philippines, UAE, Saudi, and Bahrain—which are published on The Filipino Times Newspaper, The Filipino Times Website, and The Filipino Times Newsletter. She also presents the news on cam in the pre-recorded daily broadcast of The Filipino Times Newsbreak—a run-through of the most important events of the day, reaching 5,000 to 20,000 views—to deliver stories to audiences inclined to audio-visual content online. For recommendations and story pitches, you can reach her at [email protected]

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