Kim ‘as good as new’ after week-long hospitalization
Kim ‘as good as new’ after week-long hospitalization
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2013 - 12:00am

No, his being a triathlete has nothing to do with the illness that landed Kim Atienza in the hospital where he was confined at the ICU for six days.

“I am now in a regular room and 98 percent recovered,” Kim told Funfare in a phone chat yesterday. “I want to make it clear that my being athletic didn’t cause my illness.”

Kim suffered from Guillain-Barre (pronounced ghee-YA-buh-Ray) syndrome, a disorder in which one’s body’s immune system attacks the nerves. The first symptoms are usually weakness and tingling in the extremities. The sensations can quickly spread and, if not treated early, can paralyze the whole body. In its severe form, the disease requires emergency hospitalization.

“That’s what happened to me,” explained Kim. “I had no fever at all. At first, my left hand felt weak and the weakness progressed until my feet also felt weak. I had difficulty breathing. I’m lucky that I was diagnosed early. Otherwise, my doctors told me that hadn’t I been diagnosed at once, I could have ended totally paralyzed for life.”

Even before a heart surgery a few years ago, Kim has been a health buff who exercised regularly (mostly running) and observed a healthy diet. He became even more active when he recovered from the surgery that forced him to take an emergency leave from his three ABS-CBN shows (among them It’s Showtime).

“The exact cause of Guillian-Barre syndrome is unknown,” added Kim. “It’s a rare disease that strikes one in 100,000 regardless of age or gender. No, it’s not caused by stress or training. My being fit actually saved me and kept me strong and stopped the paralysis. People might think that the disease struck me because I’ve been working out too hard.”

There’s no known cure or vaccination for the disease, according to Kim’s research. But several treatments can ease the symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Most people recover from the disease, though some may experience lingering effects from it such as, as mentioned earlier, weakness, numbness or fatigue.

Kim disclosed that at the ICU he was administered mega doses of immunoglobulin or IVIG for six days.

“I could eat anything as long as I was on IVIG,” said Kim who was running on the treadmill in his hospital room during our chat, adding that soon, he’d be swimming, biking and running again. “Once you recover, there’s a small percentage of relapse. Some recover from it totally.”

Kim has always been God-centered.

“This new episode in my life has made me closer to my God and my family,” he said.

Willie No. l taxpayer among showbiz stars


For a few years now, Willie Revillame has been consistently the No. 1 taxpayer among showbiz stars and that should set a good example for his colleagues.

In the list of Top 50 overall taxpayers for the year 2012, Willie (full name: Wilfredo Buendia Revillame) ranked No. 2 with P63,901.751.38 taxes paid for regular income.

The seven other showbiz guys on the list are: Kris Aquino (Kristina Bernadette Cojuangco Aquino, No. 6), P44,933,335.05; John Lloyd Cruz (John Lloyd Espidol Cruz, No. 8), P42,791,354.17; Sharon Cuneta (Sharon Cuneta Pangilinan, No. 9), P42,025,524.05; Judy Ann Santos (Judy Anne Santos Agoncillo, No. 32), P24,086,982.57; Piolo Pascual (Piolo Jose Nonato Pascual, No. 34), P23,356,976.00; Manny Pacquiao (Emmanuel  Dapidran Pacquiao, No. 36), P22,381,304.91); and Anne Curtis (Anne Ojales Curtis-Smith, No. 50), P19,166,758.64.

Meanwhile, one week after he quit his TV5 noontime show Wowowillie, Willie has been enjoying to the hilt his well-deserved timeout from showbiz. Until last Oct. 12, Willie had been working non-stop as TV host/actor, seldom taking enough rest even if he would steal some time with his staff whom he brought for brief vacations abroad.

Now stress-free, Willie has been doing the rounds of his many businesses, something that he couldn’t do before.

“I’m checking the progress of the construction of a resort-hotel I’m building in Tagaytay where I also have houses,”
he told Funfare. “When I was busy with my show, pahapyaw ko lang na-i-inspection ang mga properties ko. Now, I’m doing it thoroughly. The Tagaytay resort also has villas. There will be a soft opening in December.”

His Wil Tower (fronting the ABS-CBN Studios in Quezon City) opened last month while the high-rise condo beside it should be ready for occupancy middle of next year.

“I’m also inspecting my private plane and my yacht,” added Willie. “You see, I’m as busy as ever, even busier now, and I don’t have to be tied up to a daily-show schedule. My time is at my disposal.”

What about showbiz? (He’s busy recording a Christmas album, composed of songs by Lito Camo.)

“It’s farthest from my mind now,” said Willie who told his crying fans at Wowowillie’s farewell show that, “I shall return!”

The question is when and where.

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