Young surgeon says battle with COVID-19 made him a better doctor

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2020 07:40 PM

MANILA - A 31-year-old UST hospital resident surgeon who had just recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) said his experience with the virus has made him a better doctor.

Dr. Armine Supnet first shared his survival story on Facebook. He said he was busy at the hospital last February with a lot of patients coming for checkup.

“During that time hindi pa kami aware na outbreak na talaga kaya inadequate pa yung mga personal equipment kasi during that time hindi pa talaga total outbreak,” he told ABS-CBN News.

“Parang dalawa lang yung case ng local transmission so lahat ng patient na nakikita namin, hindi namin sure kung meron na po talaga,” he added.

He said he contracted the disease while on duty.

The young doctor started to exhibit symptoms on the first week of March just like those of his patients.

He said it all started with a dry cough.

“Nag start po ng dry cough tapos cold tapos eventually nag-develop ako ng fever. Nag develop na ako ng difficulty of breathing saka medyo mabilis na ako mapagod kaysa dati,” he shared.

He was immediately admitted to the hospital where he worked and then intubated to help him breathe.

“Hindi ka na talaga makahinga parang wala nang pumapasok na hangin tapos dumidilim na yung paligid pero nung naintubate na ako tulog naman po ako,” he said.

The young surgeon said it was a humbling experience being the patient this time around.

“Humbling expierence siya kasi dati ako yung nanggagamot sa pasyente nakikita kong nahihirapan sila pero iba pala yung experience Kung ikaw mismo nahihirapan, ikaw mismo yung nakakaramdam nung difficulty na nararamdaman nila kaya mas yung talagang nakaka-humble yung pinagdaanan ko,” he explained.
 
In an emotional moment, Supnet said he had already bid goodbye to his family telling them he was ready to go if God should take him.

“Actually po nagpaalam na ako sa family ko sabi ko ready na nga akong ma-go yun nga po may awa ang Diyos. Improved talaga napansin ko gumaganda yung kondisyon ko bawat araw na dumadaan sa treatment kaya sabi ko kaya pa to,” he shared.

Supnet has fully recovered and now tested negative for COVID-19 after being confined in the hospital for eight days.

He has since then gained new insights and developed compassion towards patients after being given a second chance at life.

“Magiging sensitive ako sa feelings nila. Mas hindi ko babalewalain yung mga nararamdaman nila. Kasi naranasan ko po yung pinagdadaanan nila, kaya mas magiging sensitive po ako sa kanila at mas babantayan ko pa sila. Higit sa dati kong pagbabantay,” he said.

Supnet said he finds great fulfillment in being a doctor despite the risk. This lesson in life only affirmed his passion to serve others as a doctor.

“Although at risk po kasi yung mga doctor, nurse and all healthcare professionals. Lahat po kasi ng effort may kapalit eh, yun nalang po iniisip namin. Yung mga pasyente po na gumagaling, fulfilling po talaga samin. Kaya noong binigyan ako ng second life eto pa rin po ang pipiliin kong profession,” he said.

Supnet is now finishing his 14-day quarantine period and awaiting the day he can return to the battlefield - the hospital.