Covid-19 Chronicles: A grief-stricken Christmas for us as Patrick suddenly passes away

2020 December

We didn't think this year couldn't get any worse, but it did.  Patrick died after 2 days in the hospital, not from Covid-19 which was what we were protecting him against but from cerebrovascular disease pontine infarct, an ischemic stroke that affected his pons region of the brain stem.

It was devastating to say the least and my kids and I are still reeling from it even as I type now.

I will only touch on it with just a few details because to write about everything is still too painful.

I will write about the rest of December too, just to cap off the year. 

During the last week of November, Patrick experienced elevated blood pressure.  We were able to bring it down with medication and he had gotten better as we thought.  On December 5, my Dad and Lynne even came to visit us after months of being quarantined and as you can see, he appeared to be okay.

However, around 3AM of December 11 he suddenly had seizures and I was so scared for him.   I got in touch with the Philippine Red Cross and asked them to send an ambulance and they did.  But we all had a difficult time bringing him down and outside because our hallway was narrow and he was heavy and he was continuously seizing as we were transporting him.

We ended up in Tondo Medical Center after having gone to Ospital ng Sampaloc and Jose Reyes Medical Center where we were turned away.  Ospital ng Sampaloc had no Neuro and CT Scan and Jose Reyes' emergency was full.  

At Tondo Medical Center, he was immediately treated and his seizures stopped.  But the damage must have been great at that point.  He suffered 15 seizures all the way to the hospital.  I thought he improved up to December 12th because he became more lucid and was able to respond to my voice and he was still able to move his arms and legs but he couldn't see and speak and that worried me.  

Then by the afternoon of December 12, his status started to decline.  He had a raging fever and he became non-responsive all through the night.  I kept pestering the doctors and nurses to check him.  Then we got moved to the Covid-Free ward around 11PM.  I thought that was a good sign.  But that's where he expired.  He became comatose and upon returning from the emergency CT scan, he flatlined.  We didn't make it back to the room.  The nurses performed resuscitation on him, with epi shots but there was no response.  At 4:58AM of December 13, he was pronounced dead.

Then began the whirlwind of contacting his brother Stevie, my family members.  I didn't tell the kids yet because I wanted to be there with them when I did.  In two days, we were able to release his body from the morgue, brought him to St. Mark Memorial Chapel for a 1-day wake and then his cremation the next day.

It was tough for the kids.  Dana had her 2Q exams that same week but in a weird way, it helped her to focus first on the exams so she was able to deal with her Dad's death slowly, if that's better...

Dylan processed things differently.  He just sat and watched his Dad's favorite shows on Netflix for a while.

But still, despite this pain, life moves on.  Dylan attended his virtual Christmas party.  They prepared recorded song and/or dance numbers and shared them with their class.  It was a good day, that day. 

Christmas day, we spent just the three of us.  No one sat on Patrick's side of the table in his honor.  No one had the energy or the willfulness to cook so we just ordered Chicken and spaghetti from Jollibee.

At least Dylan was very happy with his gift for Christmas because he has waited for this for a long time :)

Christmas lunch we had samgyupsal again hahaha We missed Patrick but we knew that he would've wanted us to be happy during Christmas.  The kids also enjoyed a sushi platter :)

There's a lot that I didn't say or mention about what happened.  Maybe in another post, I don't know.  

To end this, let me just copy and paste what I wrote on Facebook:

It has now been a week since you left this plane of existence. There is nothing more to be said other than may you rest in peace. 

We would like to say thanks to all our family members in Manila, in the provinces, in California, Washington, and New Jersey for being there for us at our time of grief. Your words gave us much needed comfort.

Thank you too to our friends - my friends, Patrick's friends, co-workers and industry partners, and Dana's friends who have shared their grief and pain with us.

Thank you to those who managed to make it to his wake despite the short notice and the fear of Covid. For those that didn't, it's okay. We truly understand that exposure is a risk even with safety protocols in place.

Thank you all for your support. Thank you all for reaching out to us via text, Messenger chats, calls, and comments on FB. Thank you for your generosity. We are so overwhelmed with love and comfort from all of you and we feel glad to know that Patrick was loved by you.

Thank you all.

From, Rachel, Dana and Dylan


  1. Hugs Rachel, Dana and Dylan!
    Praying with you all.
    More love from up above :)


Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave your thoughts :)