What Matters

Author: DARIUS MANZANERO

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What matters most is that I am breathing, I am hoping and I keep on fighting.

I am Darius and I am one of the recent graduates of virtual skills training at Virtualahan.

I have Post Traumatic Arthritis and Titanium Implants to support my left leg because of a motorcycle accident back in June 2018. I needed the surgery because my left leg was severely damaged. In fact, my femur was completely broken.

Before my accident, I was at the prime of my life. I even had the opportunity to go abroad and be part of the working crew of a cruise ship. The job was promising with lucrative pay. Everything was all set and all that I was waiting for was the plane ticket for my flight. But, the accident happened.

The most painful part is not the physical pain but the financial, emotional and the mental torture that added on to the existing misery. I lost my drive and motivation. A lot of plans didn’t materialize and a lot of dreams came crushing.

I kept on thinking about my daughter, my ailing mother and my debt for my intensive training. A lot of questions, thoughts, doubts, and worries filled my head. “Would I be able to walk again and get back with life? And would I be able to work again?” I didn’t know how to start and pick up the pieces. Things just happened all too sudden and caught me off-guard. I wasn’t prepared for this, to say the least.

But nevertheless, I thank God because it wasn’t as worse as it was supposed to. I was conscious when the medics brought me to the hospital. I was even able to instruct them to bring me to a public hospital and not in a private medical facility or else I will die because of an expensive medical bill.

There were a lot of realizations after my accident. It revealed my truest of friends and those who were easily taken by the wind. There were those who chose to be there through thick and thin. And there were those whom I expected to help when I needed them the most, yet they ignored my call for help. They added the devastation to my heart.

I stayed at the Philippine Orthopedic Center for almost three months and I was handled by different teams of doctors. With what I went through, I experienced the most humbling experience in that hospital. I had to share my room with a lot of people who were also seeking for government aid. I was stuck in my bed because my leg needed to be always elevated. I could not even go to the comfort room which meant that I had to do everything in my bed. The only piece of material that gives us privacy is a tiny curtain.

I underwent three operations. The first operation was when the doctors had to clean my wound, the second was when my wound got infected, and the final operation was when they had to put the titanium implants. The process was excruciatingly painful and inconvenient but I had to because there was no other way to heal. I needed to submit to all the treatments they gave.

The final operation was difficult because they operated on me without the important operation equipment. I was in a hurry because I could not wait for the arrival of their equipment because my PCSO medical assistance was about to expire. I needed financial assistance because I could not afford the operation on my own.

So I signed the waiver that the doctors could proceed even without the equipment. I didn’t want to add on to the burden of my family and drain them financially so I took the risk. I was fortunate to have survived that operation. They transfused more than 10 bags of blood. I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a week because I had pulmonary embolism due to continuous transfusion. I literally had a hard time breathing but I did not give up.

How could I give up when my inspiration, my mom, siblings and daughter, were right beside me fighting my fights?

I endured the physical pain and emotional torture and won over my battles. In September 2018, I was finally discharged. Healing took place. My doctor told me that I could completely use my legs after a couple of years. I am happy with the news but I am just happier with the fact that I am alive and breathing and I am beside the people I dearly love.

I know that I still have a lot more fights to fight and mountains to conquer, I am certain that I can do it with the love and support of the people who really matter to me. They are my inspiration and my motivation.

Life suddenly brought me down, but it does not matter. What matters most is that I am breathing, I am hoping and I keep on fighting.

DARIUS MANZANERO

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