Christmas is where the heart is

AS IT APPEARS - Lorenzo Paradiang Jr. -

In the entire Christendom, particularly among the Roman Catholic faithful, the annual celebration of Christmas is a unique festive and religious mystique that has become traditional.

Even among the niggardly poor in urban hovels and rural huts, Christmas is a welcome occasion for them to prepare special meals, and anticipate some gifts from better-heeled benefactors. Of course, the latter are in auspicious positions to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and some good Samaritans share their blessings for the very poor. Indeed, there’s no better occasion to make good the religious tenet that it’s more blessed to give than to receive, and that, the essence of Christmas is in the heart.

The most remarkably touching is that even the very sick and the sickly also share in the festive and religious spirit of yuletide. More remarkably touching is when the healthy and the compassionate ones make benevolent gestures for the sick for them to keep heart, and remember by.

This is not to make comparisons with other similar institutions or individuals; nonetheless, one has been aware of the solicitude of the Renal Section of one tertiary hospital in their passionate concern of its patients.

Led by Dr. Ruben A. Maguad and his staff of Drs. Grecia Darunday, Harriet Porsuelo, Mello Roa and Dawn Garupa and other physicians, complemented by their beautiful nurses, this year marked the repetition of Christmas cheer for their patients. Thus, in the evening of December 17, renal patients converged in a plush hotel uptown as honorees, with their family escorts.

What was surprising was the sight of sick patients attending the lively shindig, made livelier by the bevy of pretty nurses with their extemporaneous gabs and jokes, and nimble dance sashay to enliven the program. Except for the few patients who appeared weak, all the rest appeared hale and hearty who immensely enjoyed the program, interspersed with raffles of medical gadgets as prizes.

Humility aside, one was tasked to deliver an inspirational message, but one stressed on the unique caring and special rapport between doctors and nurses vis-à-vis their wards. While it is said that familiarity breeds contempt, and that generally in hospitals the doctors and nurses treat their patients with clinical and professional detachment and impersonal objectiveness, sans subjective personal gestures, the renal section adverted to is different. Their nurses, like, Leian, Mayee, Jane, Ethel, Joy, Jacque, Mai-Mai, Thelma, Mikay, Pilay, Mommy Cute, et al., prefer to be called by their pet nicknames, as they also address their wards with gentle familiarity, and their tenderness is that of the proverbial angels of mercy.

Doctors and nurses in this hospital’s renal section display no clinical detachment, but exude kind empathy. The doctors’ and nurses’ efficiency and expertise aren’t affected by their closeness with the patients. In short, familiarity is the rule without breeding contempt; and the pampering breeds closer special relations with patients, and love and compassion between the caregivers and the cared patients.

One pointed out that the individuals who can inspire the patients are no other than the doctors, the nurses who operate dialysis machines hands on and orderlies, and perhaps the management who are all committed in their munificent caring for their beneficiaries. Holding Christmas programs and providing sumptuous dinners annually, is just one of their Samaritan concerns.

In recap, in Cebu for example, private hospitals have their renal sections full to the brim with patients who can afford and those who can barely afford. While there are few other private clinics or medical facilities for the renal patients, the poor who need treatment can not afford them. Thus, to alleviate the great need, it’s a must for the national and local governments to be cognizant of the nationwide problem affecting the sickly poor.

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