by Ruel J. Mendoza
NAGBIGAY ng update ang kapatid ng aktor na si Julio Diaz na si Ana Marie Regaliza-Datuin sa kasalukuyang kalagayan ng kanyang kapatid.
Ayon kay Datuin, hindi pa rin umano ligtas si Julio dahil sa kondisyon na aneurysm.
Sa tulong ng mga nagmamalasakit sa aktor kabilang na ang ilang celebrities, nailipatumano si Julio sa St. Lukes Hospital sa Taguig City, at dito ay patuloy siyang inoobserbahan.
“Julio still has no clue what’s going on around him, but as soon as he is out of danger, we will tell him what an amazing journey it has been and how many people came around to keep him alive,” diin pa ni Datuin.
Heto ang pinost ni Datuin sa kanyang Facebook page:
“Julio was first rushed to a small hospital in Bulacan, a province in the Philippines, where he was refused immediate treatment due to lack of sufficient cash for down payment. It was not until my son, Michael Datuin, who arrived an hour later to deliver the cash needed, did they perform CT SCAN and gave him medication to bring down the blood pressure and to relieve the headache.
“The second part of this amazing journey began when the doctor gave the diagnosis that my brother was having an aneurysm and that an urgent brain surgery is needed.
“It was then when my son, who is in the Philippines and I, here in NJ, found ourselves in a situation where we had to make the big decision to bring Julio to a better hospital in Manila for the surgery.
“It was at that crucial moment when I started writing down on Facebook my concerns. With help from relatives, Irene and Vincent Belmonte, Ching Regaliza and friends in Manila, we tried to find a public hospital as we know it would cost less. As it turned out, there were no government hospitals available since they were in full capacity. Since time was running out and a fatal stroke was imminent, I told my son to start checking out private hospitals and see what their requirements are.
“Of course, the demands were mind blowing. I could not wrap my head around the thought of finding the money needed for what’s going to happen next.
“Then by some stroke of good luck, which I prefer to call God’s favor, a fellow actor, Dranreb Belleza texted Julio’s ex-manager Ed Instrella that the Medical Director of St. Luke’s Hospital Global City, one of the most prestigious hospitals in the Philippines, was waiting for him.
“Words of encouragement from Julio’s friends and colleagues like, Cherry Coronel, Brilliante Mendoza, Gardo Verzosa, Cherry Pie Picache, Jaclyn Jose, Olga Natividad, Julius Bernabe Reyes, Raymond Red, Mel Bacani, Vivian Foz, Vivian Velez, and many more were so helpful.
“These brought a sudden rush of excitement in me knowing that help is within reach. But, of course, it wasn’t that easy. There was no ambulance available to transport him to St. Luke’s.
“Since everyone in my household was sleeping at the time as all these things unfold, I found myself posting my concerns again on Facebook.
“Next thing you know, another colleague of my brother in the movie industry, Nadia Montenegro, messaged me saying she is sending an ambulance to the hospital and that The Philippine Actors’ Guild started a fundraising campaign called “4 for July”, where each member of the guild pledged to donate R4,000 to Julio’s medical bills.
“Another blessing! And as if that blessing was not enough, my son also relayed to me the news that Julio’s daughter, whom he hasn’t seen for almost 15 years arrived with his mother and grandmother at the hospital to see his father. I know that meant a lot to my brother whose only dream in life is to see his only child with whom he has been separated for years.
“After 11 hours passed, Julio was finally at St. Luke’s Hospital. Of course, as a standard procedure, a down payment of R300,000 or $6,818 was required.
“My son, with every ounce of faith in him that God will provide, asked if he can issue a postdated check. His request was granted and St. Luke’s Hospital’s team of neuro surgeons started mapping out their plans for Julio’s condition.
“At this point, I gave myself some time to rest and sleep, but not without saying a prayer entrusting everything to God from this point on. I knew it will cost thousands of dollars, or a million or so in pesos, but I said to myself, my God is bigger than this. I read Psalm 23 over and over again saying, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, [a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Such a reassuring promise.
“When I woke up to check for messages from my son, a friend of mine Marlies Maneru, who is now based in Baguio City with his husband and my former colleague in Public Relations/Advertising, Luis Maneru suggested that I should reach out to Catholic Charities, PCSO and the brilliant idea to open a fundraising account in GOFUNDME.COM.
“I haven’t tried this in the past, but I did as I was told. After writing down my cause, I launched myGOFUNDME.COM campaign. It didn’t take long for good-hearted people to donate to my brother’s fundraising drive to meet his medical treatment. It is so amazing how that works!
“As of last night $12,851, which is 51% of the projected medical expenses was raised. The GOFUNDME.COM has been a big blessing. Two big actors in the Philippines, namely Robin Padilla and Coco Martin also immediately sent their donation of R100,000 or approximately $1,800 each, which my son was able to use, together with some other donations from relatives, to cover the postdated check he issued to the hospital.
“Another friend of Julio’s, the Philippines’ Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, also was one of the early respondents. She donated $1,000 through GOFUND.COM.
“These names are just a few of the many people, mostly anonymous, who did not hesitate to help a friend in need. I firmly believe they were touched by God to help and give.
“Some gave $5, some $1000, some their time and their prayers, but what I know is that in God’s eyes they are all the same. God honors them equally as they gave generously in accordance to what they can give and what their heart is telling them to.
“At this point, the doctors still consider Julio’s condition critical. The coiling procedure as described by medical websites does have some risks involved. Be that as it may, I prefer to put my faith and trust in God that if He has brought my brother this far, He has a grander purpose to fulfill and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. Julio still has no clue what’s going on around him, but as soon as he is out of danger, we will tell him what an amazing journey it has been and how many people came around to keep him alive.
“From all of Julio’s brothers, sisters and relatives, our deepest gratitude to you all who supported and continue to support us throughout this journey. It would not have been bearable to go through this ordeal, if not for all of you who helped lighten our burden.
God bless you all! – Ana Marie Regaliza-Datuin – on behalf of both the Regaliza and the De Leon family.”