Saturnino P. Javier, MD, FPCP, FPCC, FACC
Dr. Saturnino P. Javier is an interventional cardiologist at Makati Medical Center and Asian Hospital and Medical Center. He is a past president of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) and past editor of PHA’s Newsbriefs
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I blissfully breezed through the month of April 2018 celebrating milestones. A daughter celebrated her 18th birth anniversary, my mother turned a year short of 90 and a professional society I served as President a few years ago just turned silver. What a triple treat for three different roles – as a father, as a son and as a physician.
My daughter, Sofia, entered a new phase of her life as she turned 18 on April 7. Opting to observe the occasion with just a quiet celebration with family (like most other members of her class) and reserving an adventurous fun-filled celebration with close friends on a South Korean summer sojourn a month later, she prevailed on all of us (to the mom’s chagrin) to just have a quiet dinner at the lobby of Manila Peninsula Hotel to celebrate 18.
All of 18 years now, Sofia was a 6.2-pounder born at the Makati Medical Center by cesarean section on April 7, 2000 in the able hands of Dr. Greg Pastorfide. She was the daughter and granddaughter everyone was yearning to have. As there were two boys ahead of her, a baby girl was the most fulfilling and fitting addition to the growing brood of both the Javier and Navato households. She was a most anticipated answer to numerous prayers and pleadings. I look back in awe of the great miracle of 18 years that sufficiently led Sofia Alessandra to blossom into this fine gifted young lady. (Yes, I am a very biased father, but who isn’t?)
On the 18th of April, a few days after Sofia’s 18th, my mother turned 89 – a year shy of being a nonagenarian. One year short of the momentous 90, my mother breaks through the ninth decade with a walker to assist her in her daily activities – but nonetheless remains cognitively sharp and sound.
Admittedly, for most of us whose parents’ ages hover around this age group, we view each day, each month and more so, each year, as a truly genuine cause for celebration – as we recognize fully well that as we reach our 50’s and 60’s, our parents are expectedly and realistically mostly in the pre-departure years of their lives – leading towards a dreaded but inevitable culmination. I always lament how Viber groups or chat groups can turn morbid and moribund whenever condolences pour in for a departed parent or relative – especially when one realizes that the group members essentially just take turns extending condolences to one another when a parent passes away.
This year, my sister Lita and her husband Delmo, who were vacationing from Canada, and later, my nephew Richard from California, joined us in two dinner celebrations for her 89th birthday. Both held quietly in our home, those were intimate gatherings that created cherished moments of light banter over wine and a sumptuous spread of Filipino dishes.
On the professional front, I had the pleasure and honor of joining the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Philippine Society of Cardiovascular Catheterization and Interventions (PSCCI) last April 20, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Born out of the vision of pioneering interventional cardiologists in the country, this society has since played a vital role in paving the way for the growth of a discipline that provides a special kind of skill based procedural support for patients with heart disease.
Now numbering more than a hundred specialist-members, the society has grown in leaps and bounds through the years, espousing a discipline and an advancement pioneered by a Swiss cardiologist Andreas Greuntzig in the 1960s. The field of angioplasty – a procedure that leads to treatment of coronary blockages using balloons and metallic prosthetic devices called stents – has since expanded indications to provide treatments of other cardiac problems involving the other blood vessels of the body as well as the valves of the heart.
A debut, a pre-nonagenarian celebration and a silver occasion provided solid opportunities in life to experience joy and triumph from all fronts in diverse ways. Exhausting, but fun. Tiring, but rewarding and truly uplifting.
Aug 2018 Health and Lifestyle