September 27, 1990 (Thursday). I was again on night duty, my fourth in a row. It was 2 am and I’ve just finished giving milk (through tube feeding) to the same premature baby and was halfway through my preparation of medicines and IV solutions for the patients in the ward when suddenly there was a power black-out. I immediately ran back to the Nursery to check the baby in the incubator. I found her completely blue and not breathing at all! By then the hospital’s emergency power was on. I asked one of the helpers to call a doctor while I resuscitated the baby. By the time the doctor arrived, the baby was already breathing, though a difficult one. After looking at the still bluish baby, I overheard him say: “What do I know about babies?” Stethoscope in hand, he listened to the baby’s chest, nodded his head and left in a hurry. A few minutes after he was gone, the baby suddenly stopped breathing again and turned completely blue.
The doctor was called back and I did the same resuscitative measures. Before he left for the second time, he told me not to call him again as there was nothing he could do. He was busy himself assisting mothers delivering babies and he was tired, hungry and sleepy as well. He said that the baby was lucky enough to have survived that long as she was only 32 weeks old and weighed 1.1 kilograms. But I did not give up. I sent one helper out to the main ward and I continued reviving the baby each time she had the apneic attack. I was praying and crying at the same time urging the baby to fight for her life. I was thinking then about the father, who, since her birth, would come early morning and brave the dangers outside just to bring the much-needed breast milk. I was thinking particularly of what he would do when he finds his baby dead. So I fought; and so did the baby! I did not leave her side even when the Pediatrician finally arrived at 6 am (he had been called continuously earlier). When the father arrived at around 7 am, this time with his American wife, the baby was already breathing normally.
As there was still a possibility for the baby to have the same apneic attacks and as I was the only qualified nurse to attend to her, the doctor decided to have the baby transferred to a government hospital. (Two weeks later, I saw the baby alive and strong when I went to transfer another premature baby. I went to her and I remember telling her: “Fight on baby! Your country will soon be free!”)
When I came back from the transfer at around 11 am, a Filipina friend of mine (married to a British who was in hiding then) was waiting for me at the Reception area. She was due to deliver her baby. I stayed with her until she delivered her baby girl at around 5 pm and with her baby in the Nursery for another two hours as the baby came out blue and having difficulty of breathing. When the baby was stable enough, only then I went to sleep after more than 24 hours of being awake.