Pioneering pediatric surgeon passes away due to COVID-19

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Pioneering pediatric surgeon passes away due to COVID-19
Dr. Leandro Resurreccion III passed away early morning of March 31, 2020, due to acute respiratory failure brought about by COVID-19, his son posted on Facebook.
Philippine Children's Medical Center Facebook, released

MANILA, Philippines — Dr. Leandro Resurreccion III passed away doing what he came home to the Philippines to do, and what he dedicated his life to: Moving forward the vision of pediatric surgery in the country.

Dr. Resurreccion passed away on Tuesday morning due to COVID-19, his son and namesake Leandro “Jan” Resurreccion IV wrote on Facebook.

The Philippine Children’s Medical Center mourned the surgeon’s loss, whom it fondly remembered as someone “well known locally and abroad as forward looking in his vision for pediatric surgeon, especially in liver transplants, which he was working to the end.”

When Dr. Resurreccion was presented with an opportunity to work in major tertiary hospital in Australia, Doctor Leandro Resurreccion III instead chose to “come home because at that time, there were no pediatric transplant surgeons in the country.”

The Philippines needs a pediatric transplant surgeon, so Dr. Resurreccion came home, his son and namesake Leandro “Jan” Resurreccion IV shared.

"He did not do it for money nor for prestige, but because he was needed."

The last time they saw each other, there were no hugs, kisses or good bye, but Jan said his father smiled. “It gives you a kind of heartbreak that I cannot even explain,” he said.

Patients who die of COVID-19 often die in isolation, as the virus is highly contagious.

A hero, pioneering surgeon

Jan said he will remember his father not just as a global statistic that the novel coronavirus had claimed, nor as a pioneering surgeon in the country.

“But as a Citizen of The World who cared for it and fought for it. He will always be our hero,” he said.

Indeed, Dr. Resurreccion was a hero as messages extending condolences echo Jan’s words.

“Your father was not just a hero to you, he was a hero for all of us,” a Facebook user said.

Another said: “Your dad answered the call of duty, and is a true hero.”

‘If we lose those who protect us, who else will?’

Jan also appealed for more concrete plans to the government as it fights the pandemic that has infected 1,546 in the country.

“Your efforts [in] this lockdown have been commendable because I have seen firsthand how the battle against COVID-19 has been fought on with full force, but I appeal that we may have more coherent plan in order to test everyone and isolate,” he said.

“Let us break the chain,” Jan added.

He also called on the public to remain at home, as this too will not only protect their loved ones but the frontliners too.

“If we lose those who protect us, who else will?” he added.

The Philippines has lost at least 10 doctors due to the novel coronavirus disease.



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