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‘Why I always ask for prayers’ |


‘Why I always ask for prayers’

FAMILY JEWELS - Michelle Dayrit-Soliven - The Philippine Star
âWhy I always ask for prayersâ
Dr. Victor Gozali.

A courageous two-time cancer survivor, a compassionate infectious diseases pediatrician, a loving wife, mother of four wonderful children and ardent prayer warrior, my dear friend Dr. Baby Gozali gratefully shares why she always asks for prayers.

“Thank God for miracle after miracle after miracle!”  Baby begins.

“About a month ago, I suddenly developed a cold, followed by coughing and an eerie marked weakness. A five-minute visit to the restroom drained me to the point that I had to sleep for three hours to recover,” she recalls.

Baby’s chilly sensation, chest, knee, finger and joint pains plus shortness of breath episodes worried her husband Victor, also a doctor, that twice he wanted to bring his wife to the emergency room.  But because of so many miracles experienced during Baby’s chemo days wherein her painful side effects immediately disappeared after communal prayers, she decided to ask for prayers first from her prayer warriors. Lo and behold, her symptoms resolved so quickly that she didn’t have to go to the ER nor take any medication.

Doctors Victor and Baby Gozali with their children David, Kristina, Armand and Kara during a pilgrimage trip.

“I clearly remember Vic staring at me amazed that my symptoms disappeared just like that in less than an hour! I became completely well.  Then on March 27, I felt so weak again for 24 hours but right after Pope Francis’ early morning blessing with plenary indulgence (Urbi et Orbi), I became strong again,” Baby recounts.

The next day, Baby insisted that it was Vic who should have a checkup because of weakness, cough of three days, shortness of breath and abnormal breathing sounds. Being a surgeon, he is not used to being a patient but he obeyed his wife, went to the Makati Medical Center emergency room and was admitted for pneumonia. His blood tests showed inflammatory markers that were elevated. In the subsequent days, his chest X-ray findings worsened with additional infiltrates and fluid in the other lung.

How did the Gozalis cope during this frightening time?

Eldest child Kara said, “It was one thing to have a hunch that Dad was sick with COVID-19 and another to have it confirmed. It was not easy, as being the eldest sibling, I felt like I had to find the best balance of being strong for Mom, as well as for my three younger siblings who were nervous every time we were updated with lab results. It would get better then worse, then better again.”

Kara had to remind her siblings that they all had to be there for their mom to keep her healthy and afloat. They all had their own battles to fight but none outweighed the obligation as their dad’s support system. They prayed every day for God to keep their family safe and return their dad to them. They would text him funny things and FaceTime with him every day wearing a positive aura. It was a hard three weeks but after prayers, prayers and more prayers, Vic started to improve progressively and on Easter Sunday, at exactly 3 p.m., the hour of the Divine Mercy, they received a text that finally, Vic’s swab results were negative. That meant only one thing. He was coming home.  Kara immediately called him on FaceTime and despite his attempt to keep composed, he broke down in tears. They all started crying at the same time filled with joy, peace and gratitude.

Younger daughter Kristina recalls, “It was very difficult for us to be separated from Dad knowing he was COVID positive but we had faith. We believed that God would be answering our daily prayers and that Dad would fully recover from this experience. And he did! It was truly a joyous moment to see him get out of the car with a big smile on his face, a champion of every struggle including COVID-19. Truly, God gives blessings after blessings! Not only did God bring us together to be complete again, but my sister and I were able to develop a skill to make our dad happy.”

They practiced their skills in cooking Chinese food, which is their dad’s favorite, while he was confined. Upon his return they were able to surprise him with their perfected lemon chicken. How his face lit up!

Younger son David says, “Dad is the head of our house who leads the family and guides us, most especially in times of crisis. He is also the joy of the house who makes us laugh, and cooks for us, which makes the Gozali family happy. Having Dad admitted in the hospital was challenging for me, my sisters and older brother Armand as we were confused, lost and scared.”

Coping was therefore not easy but according to David, three things were very helpful. First is their very strong faith in God. Second, without their dad at home, the family bonded. Each of them stepped up to support one another with words of comfort and acts of kindness. Third, they were in constant communication with their dad. “We called him often to show how much we missed him. We shared videos, pictures and random stories of love and support. A few weeks later, thank God, Dad came home joyful and well. Now the family is complete, happier and closer than ever.”

An elated Baby reports, “Both of us are doing well at home now. God truly answers our prayers in his time and way, which is always the best! With persistent prayers, miracles do happen! We just have to ask for them and believe.”

And finally, an ecstatic Dr. Vic Gozali, with tears of joy, expresses his gratitude to family and friends. “Thank you so much for all your prayers, words of encouragement that bundled up into a miracle. As I entered the hospital, I knew of only one outcome, either exit to meet my Creator or to meet my family again. God blessed me with the second choice. Prayers make miracles!”

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