Due to the prevailing spread of the Coronavirus disease (Covid – 19) in the country, nearly all the nurses, doctors and other health personnel were busy and pre-occupied in giving medical attention to suspected and confirmed patients in the island Catanduanes province.

Woe to a patient who suffered from stroke and blood clot in the brain but could not have been brought to a hospital in mainland Bicol without a nurse to accompany the transfer. But it was not what happened. Thanks to a 22-year old nurse who did not hesitate to help and accompany the patient, who did not mind the risk of contracting Covid-19 infection anytime, anywhere during the patient’s transfer and hospitalization.

Neil Jane Tribiana, a resident nurse of Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital in Catanduanes said her desire to help push her to attend the need of the patient and the family.

“Masaya po akong natulungan ko sila sa maliit na bagay na ginawa ko. Natural po sa mga nurses na maging caring nag kataon lang po siguro na ako hindi ako busy nang hingin nilang ako ang umalalay sa pasyente. (I am happy that I was able to help the patient and the family in my simple way. It is also normal for all nurses to be caring in times of need and maybe it was just luck that I was not occupied when they asked me to accompany the patient), Tribiana said in a phone interview.

Tribiana said that she already considered the possibilities in accompanying the patient. And one of these is getting infected by Covid-19.

“But I knew the patient had to be brought to a hospital for immediate treatment. It is a matter of life and death. I decided to go,” Tribiana said.

Jhon Paul Rodriguez, brother of the patient in a separate interview on Thursday said his elder brother diagnose of stroke with blood clot in the brain.

“Since there is no resident neurologist in the province, our family decided to transfer our brother to the mainland hospital but the Enhanced Community Quarantine and the risk of Coronavirus diseases (Covid-19) made it very difficult to find a nurse that will accompany my brother during the transfer,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez added they almost lost hope since the hospital will not allow the transfer if no nurse will accompany during the four to five – hour Roll-on Roll-Off (RORO) travel.

“The hospital cannot provide a nurse because the hospital is already under manned since some are already undergoing 14-day quarantine. I called my nurse friends and relatives but I was dismayed that they all refused to attend since some were on duty and others with personal concerns,” Rodriguez recalled.

He also said with the help of friends, relatives and villagers they were able to comply with all the requirements needed for the transfer.

“Nurse na lang talaga ang wala para mapayagan si kuya mailipat. (Nurse is the only thing missing, for our brother to be allowed to be transfer) The travel time is Tuesday 1 p.m then at around 10:30 a.m, someone called and was willing to accompany our brother, we really believed that she’s an angel sent by God to save the life of our brother,” he added.

When asked what’s the reason why she’s willing to help, she said “Naisip ko po na neuro ang case ni sir, alam ko naman na walang neuro sa isla. Tapos udto na po wala man syempre sinda nakuhang nurse. Complete na lahat, prepared na sinda pati su patient. Alangan man dai sya matawan ning tultul na treatment dahil lang walang nurse. So yun sabi ko diit na oras man sana, makatuwang ng grabe kay sir and sa family nya” (I know that the patient’s case is very critical since it involves brain and I know there is no neurosurgeon available in the province. The clock is ticking, every minute is important for the patient’s life; everything is prepared even the patients so I decided to go, not just because no nurse is available his life will be in danger. It will just consume a little time and the risk is their but the life of the patient is more important now,” she added.

Tribiana said she will continue to pray for the fast recovery of the patient “To the family of the patient, thank you very much for entrusting him under my care, your appreciation is enough for me, I’m glad that I was able to help. For other front-liners, God sees our heart. Our willingness to help and sacrifices will be appreciated. Never get tired of helping other people. Let’s embrace passion, the calling of our profession,” she added.

To lessen the risk of Covid-19 in the island province, a group of medical teams from Milaor in Camarines Sur fetched the patient at the port of Tabaco. As of press time, Tribiana together with the ambulance driver were already back to the island and the patient was now admitted to Mother Seton Hospital in Naga.

Tribiana was a BS Nursing graduate in 2018 at Catanduanes State University (CSU).

“To all who pray and become an instrument to help our family, we are very grateful, to nurse Neil Jane, we will be forever grateful to you, God will always there to give us the things that we need, never lose hope,” Rodriguez said. (PNA/PIA)