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A 'Yolanda' victim becomes a hero

Dr. Sherryl Ann Roque

MANILA, Philippines - Commander Jonathan Zata, commanding officer of the Navy ship BRP Bacolod City had to think and act fast.

It was midnight of Nov. 18 and one of his passengers, a nine-month old baby girl who came from typhoon-struck Tacloban, was having convulsions due to acute pneumonia.

Baby Janelle might die if not given immediate medical attention.

The girl’s mother knew that losing her baby is a pain that will be too much to bear since a powerful typhoon had already ravaged her hometown. So she immediately asked help from Zata, who then looked for someone who can help the sick baby.

“The mother approached me and asked for help. So I asked the passengers whether there are doctors on board the ship,” Zata said.

Fortunately, a pediatrician was on board the ship that was bound for Cebu that time. And while she herself was a victim of typhoon “Yolanda,” Sherryl Ann Roque was more than ready to play the role of good Samaritan.

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Roque gave immediate treatment to the child by inserting a dextrose that she got from the stocks of the ship.

“She (Roque) gave immediate medical attention to the baby but she also informed me that the baby should be brought to a hospital. Otherwise, there is a possibility that she will die,” Zata said in Filipino.

Upon learning of the child’s condition, Naval Forces Central chief Commodore Reynaldo Yoma ordered BRP Federico Martir to fetch the infant so she can be brought to the nearest hospital.

The pediatrician also checked the vital signs of the child and then requested for a medical evacuation.

“My remedy was to give her paracetamol and dextrose which were available in the ship,” Roque said.

BRP Federico Martir, which had a medical team on board, met BRP Bacolod City in the middle of the sea. The baby was rushed to a hospital in Cebu and is now in stable condition.

Roque, her husband, mother, and grandmother, were provided with a vehicle by the Naval Forces Central so they can go to the airport and make it to their flight to Manila on that same day.

Navy officials thanked Roque for her heroic deed and even called her a “Yolanda hero”.

Roque said she was grateful for the opportunity to extend help to those in need.

“In a way, I am thankful. In my capacity, I was able to help the baby and saved her life,” the pediatrician said.

 

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