Handout photo shows Joemark Mangkok holding his diploma.
John Unson
Student with heart disease finishes college
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - March 25, 2019 - 12:00am

TACURONG CITY , Philippines — Despite suffering from rheumatic heart disease, Joemark Mangkok of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao did not stop his studies at the Southern Mindanao Institute of Technology Inc.

In a wheelchair and with a breathing apparatus still attached to him, Mangkok received his diploma for Bachelor of Secondary Education major in Mathematics during a graduation ceremony yesterday.

Doctors at the St. Louis Hospital allowed him to attend the event on condition that he should be returned to the hospital after receiving his diploma.

Photos of Mangkok in a wheelchair and holding his diploma went viral shortly after a relative uploaded it on social media.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said his office will give medical assistance to Mangkok.

“He showed extreme courage and determination despite his condition. I was touched. What a gesture of fighting spirit it was. A resilient person,” Mangudadatu said in a text message to journalists.

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