Dr. Janiel Aguilar is a frontliner who, after surviving Covid-19, now approaches his work differently.
He said: “Before, I just did my job. After my experience with Covid, I cared more for my patients. Before, I did the work because it was my job. Now, I do it because I care.”
Aguilar cares for his patients by pushing an advocacy that, based on his experience, helped Covid-19 patients recover and bring down deaths.
He is now a proponent of the prone positioning where a Covid-19 patient is placed lying flat on the bed with the chest down and the back up.
It might seem trivial but, Aguilar said, the prone position would allow the lungs to expand and, in the process, let the medicine to cure the lung damage caused by the virus take effect. If supine, the medicine will run only along the central part of the lungs.
This saved him as he struggled with the disease.
He said he caught the novel coronavirus while working as a resident doctor at the Chong Hua Hospital in Mandaue City.
His lungs got affected and he suffered a Cytokines Storm that has caused some Covid deaths.
Cytokines are high levels of immune system proteins that go on overdrive to attack the novel coronavirus. In the process, the blood thickens and this raises the risk of the patient forming blood clots.
Aguilar, now recovered, said he now lives a “more meaningful life” because of this advocacy.
“I want to share it because I don’t want it to be as difficult for others,” he said.
He saw his survival as a “blessing from God.”
He said after his near-death experience: “Appreciate even the smallest things. Water. Food. Air. Be more patient. Gracious. Appreciate the simple things in life.”