Family grieves over death of Cebuana doctor
CEBU CITY, Philippines —The deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has once again claimed the life of another doctor – Dr. Helen Tudtud. She was a medical specialist/pathologist of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), according to her Linkedin profile. She graduated from the Cebu Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Helen, 66, lost her battle against the dreaded disease late Friday evening, March 27, or 11 days after she was admitted to the hospital.
Her grief-stricken son, Dennis Thomas Tudtud, confirmed his mother’s death in a post on his Facebook account.
“Mommy Helen has gone now and my heart is breaking. She was admitted March 17. I was still able to have video calls with her on March 18 to 21. On March 21, her condition deteriorated but she was fighting to stay alive. On March 23, her vital signs began to stabilize. She was fighting. It was only today that Mommy Helen took a different turn,” he said.
Rumors, heartless people
He lamented over the way rumors had been circulating about his mother’s death as early as March 18.
“Some heartless people even posted it all over social media. My mother was still fighting to stay alive, but people were already killing her!” he recalled.
“Do you know how painful it is to have both parents admitted and both in serious and guarded condition, and yet you hear news saying that our mother has already died, when she is still holding on and fighting to stay alive?” he asked.
“We understand the fear. We understand the panic. But do these heartless people not understand how much more fear and panic that we are in?” Dennis Thomas said.
Dennis Thomas also cited the way some have posted his parents’ names in social media, without concern over how the family would feel.
“Both my parents are DOCTORS. My Daddy, especially, is a passionate oncologist who always put his patients first. My parents touched many lives and were always at the forefront of helping other people,” Dennis Thomas said.
“Yet, some people shamelessly post their names all over social media as if they are the virus. I do not understand why this world has become so heartless. We are breaking but some people choose to break us even more,” he said.
The cordoning off of their property in Talamban deepened further the family’s anguish.
“Then came the police cordoning our entire compound. What for? We never breached the quarantine protocol! People treat us like some STATISTICS they see on Facebook or on the news. We are PEOPLE, too! It can happen to you and your family too,” Dennis Thomas said.
He then bemoaned the fact that they were now treated like pariah by some people.
‘My heart is breaking’
“We did not choose this virus. We do not even know where Mommy and Daddy caught it. My parents NEVER left the country since this year. THEY NEVER WENT TO ITALY OR FRANCE recently. We are NOT the virus and yet people are treating us like we are,” he said.
“We don’t know why this happened to us. We may never know why. All I know is that MY HEART IS BREAKING and I can’t hug my sweet and loving MOMMY HELEN ever again,” he said.
He then expressed how he felt over his mother’s passing away.
“I will miss her laughter. I will miss everything about her and I will never see her again. I LOVE YOU ALWAYS MOMMY. Please watch over us as you always do. Please whisper to Daddy to keep on fighting and to stay alive,” Dennis Thomas added.
He ended his post with this appeal: “To my friends and family, please pray for Mommy Helen’s eternal repose. Please continue to pray for Daddy that he will not stop fighting.”/dbs
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