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Barrio doctor revives a stillborn baby

A doctor-scholar of the First Gentleman Foundation Inc. (FGFI) now serving as a barrio doctor in Dapa, Surigao del Norte, has earned the admiration of the island town’s populace after miraculously reviving a stillborn baby. Dr. Anthony Cu, from the University of the Philippines, defied formal medical procedures by conducting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR on the newly delivered baby, who had no heart beat and was no longer breathing. The “miracle” Dr. Cu performed took place on March 24, 2010 when a 38-year-old impoverished woman from one of Dapa’s island barangays checked in at the Dapa Rural Health Unit (RHU) after suffering labor pains for 10 hours.

“Since she was already fully dilated and have been in labor for the past 10 hours when she arrived at the RHU, I had no choice but to attend to her despite our lack in adequate equipments for neonatal resuscitation,” Dr. Cu recounted.

With a midwife and two of his medical staff to assist him, Dr. Cu attended on the woman. As they had feared the difficult labor resulted in her delivering a stillbirth or a cyanotic blue baby, who was not breathing and whose heart was not beating.

“We turned paper pale white with fear since the RHU is not equipped for neonatal resuscitation. We had no oxygen tank, no suction machine and not even an ambu bag. But the baby needed to be resuscitated. We had to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR to the newly delivered meconium stained baby,” he said.

Dr. Cu and his assistants performed manual suctioning to clear the baby’s airways and stimulate the baby to breathe in the absence of a suctioning machine.

“It was the longest two minutes of my life. Fortunately, God was watching us. The baby’s heart started beating and she began gasping for air spontaneously. We were all so relieved,” said Dr. Cu, who performed the delivery and the resuscitation procedure with practically no equipment for neonatal resuscitation.

When the baby’s condition became stable, Dr. Cu transferred the baby girl to Siargao district hospital. The baby was discharged from the hospital after only two days. The baby and her mother are now both doing well.

Dr. Cu belongs to Batch 1 of FGFI’s Bagong Doktor para sa Bayan, a medical scholarship project for poor but deserving medical students to finish their studies in return serving two-year as barrio doctors in the country’s remotest and poorest communities that have no access to proper medical care. To-date, the foundation has 150 scholars under this project from the University of the Philippines, the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, the West Visayas State University, and the Mindanao State University.

Other projects of the Foundation include the Bagong Espesyalistang Doktor para sa Bayan, Bagong Puso Galing sa Puso, Bagong Bato, Bagong Buhay, Neurosurgical Missions, etc. which can be found on firstgentlemanfoundation.org.ph.

Subdivided in 29 barangays, Dapa is a fifth class municipality of Surigao del Norte in the Caraga region in Mindanao.’ (Manila Times)

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