JOSE PANGANIBAN, Camarines Norte — Amparo, 65, slowly walked by her husband’s side, firmly holding his arms and hands as he limped toward the gate where Operation Blessing’s free medical mission was being held.
Everybody could tell he was having a hard time walking. His legs were shaking involuntarily. Without his wife’s support, it was impossible to walk on his own. He was even too weak to make a conversation.
For some, it might be an unusual sight. Instead of the husband carrying his wife, it was the other way around. But for Amparo, there was nothing strange about it. There was no sign of regret in her eyes—only love for her husband.
“When we got married, we vowed to love each other no matter what happens,” a tearful Amparo said. “In sickness and in health, we’ll stay together. And that is why I’m staying by his side until now, even if it means I would be the one working for us to survive.”
She added, “My husband Suelo used to be strong and healthy. He worked really hard to support our family. As fruit of his labor, all our four children graduated from college. Sadly, his hard work also brought him the sickness that he now endures.”
Amparo shared how Suelo would do different jobs in a day: fishing, making and selling copra, and even carrying heavy ice blocks while exposed under the sun’s scorching heat.
“I was thinking it could be the cause of the involuntary movement of his legs. His arthritis also worsened and he has difficulty breathing whenever he tries to walk. He became weaker and weaker every day. I became even more worried when his stomach began to swell, and he’s become thinner,” she described.
To provide for their daily needs, Amparo would do laundry for their neighbors and sometimes sell vegetables in the market. Yet her heart is torn each time she has to leave her husband alone in the house, sitting on an old chair.
“When I got home from the market one day, I found him lying on the floor. Since then, I would always check on him. I would leave my laundry and go home just to see if he is okay,” she shared.
“I’ve never taken him to a hospital because I don’t have money, and we have to travel hours before we can reach one. So when we heard that there’s a free medical mission in our place, we were excited.”
When an OB doctor looked into Suelo’s condition, it was found out that he has severe arthritis and a swollen vein in his stomach. The doctor gave him medicines that he could take.
Another surprise came when OB gave him a new wheelchair from Free Wheelchair Mission. Amparo could not believe her eyes. It was more than she expected.
“I’ve been dreaming of a wheelchair for my husband. Now my prayers have been answered. How can we ever thank you?” she told OB in between sobs.
When Suelo saw the wheelchair, tears welled up in his eyes. He need not to speak at all. The glow in his eyes showed he was grateful and happy.
That day, the couple went home with smiles on their faces. There was also peace in Amparo’s heart. She said, “With the gift we’ve received from OB, I can now continue fulfilling the vow I made to my husband when we got married: to love him and care for him, in sickness and in health.”
GIVE THE GIFT OF MOBILITY!
Partner with Operation Blessing today to bring free wheelchairs to our kababayans with walking disabilities. Go to www.obphil.com to know more.
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