Garcia family: Were ‘post COVID medical interventions’ on their two brothers appropriate?

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Representative Pablo John Garcia to tap medical experts' help

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | September 17,2020 - 06:19 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Garcia family will be consulting experts on the appropriateness of the medical interventions applied to former Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia and Barili Mayor Marlon Garcia who allegedly died from complications arising from “post-COVID medical interventions” while remaining confined in a hospital despite having already recovered from COVID-19.

On Thursday, September 17, 2020, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and younger brother, Cebu 3rd district Representative Pablo John Garcia held a press conference to break their silence on the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their two brothers who passed away just days apart.

Congressman Garcia said while their brothers had both tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in August, the two already recovered from the disease.

Quoting the death certificate of their brothers, the Garcia siblings said Mayor Marlon Garcia died from “septic shock, secondary to catheter-related bloodstream infection, ventilator-associated pneumonia, while their other brother, Nelson, succumbed to “cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to probable massive pulmonary embolism.”

Read: Barili Mayor Marlon Garcia passes on after weeks of fighting COVID-19

Read: Ex-Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia passes away

The Garcias said they would seek experts’ opinions on whether or not the medical interventions conducted on their brothers even after they recovered from COVID-19 were appropriate.

“We have to ask questions on what happened to my two brothers because it would seem that my initial belief about hospitals and doctors were contradicted by what I saw in the particular case of my two brothers,” Governor Garcia said.

“We are asking questions… Yes, we will ask experts to weigh in, to look at the treatment and interventions given to our brothers,” Representative Garcia added.

Marlon, Nelson, and PJ tested positive

Backtracking the events, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said her brothers, Nelson and Marlon, were not admitted to the hospital at the same time and were not experiencing the same conditions.

To recall, Garcia announced during her founding anniversary speech at the Capitol on August 6 that her brother, Marlon, was “fighting COVID-19.”

Garcia said her brothers were exposed during an event that they attended prior to the launch of the ATV adventure in Barili last August 2.

Garcia, who has attended the August 2-tourism launch in Barili, was swabbed on August 6 and yielded a negative result.

Representative Garcia also submitted himself for swab testing as he had mild symptoms and his test results turned out positive. The lawmaker underwent home quarantine and denied rumors that he had been in critical condition. His symptoms, Garcia said, were a runny nose and loss of sense of taste.

Pricey medication

The Garcia siblings said they received a series of messages from Mayor Marlon Garcia who said he was already well but their handling doctors allegedly refused to discharge him.

Governor Garcia also said the doctors attending to her brothers did not allow that the Avigan, an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan, which she sent to her brothers, and instead used another medicine which was allegedly arbitrarily priced.

The said medicine, Garcia said, was pegged at P80,000 per in-take for her brother, Nelson, and at P10,000 per dose for her other brother, Marlon. A cousin, who was also administered with the medicine, Garcia said, was charged P20,000 per dose. The same medicine, however, was purchased by the Capitol for the provincial hospitals for only P6,350 each.

The doctor instead recommended for his transfer from the COVID ICU to another intensive care unit (ICU) where one nurse is assigned for each patient.

For the close to one month’s stay in the hospital, the bills for the sibling who died days apart went as high as P5.2 million for Marlon and over P3 million for Nelson, excluding professional fees for doctors./dbs

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