Personal Witness to a Miracle 2008

Miracles, my attitude to this is that `it always happens to other people’. So my belief in it could be described as `blasé’. Why? Because it happens to others and not to me or my friends that I know of. The other thing is we pray for it to happen, but it never happens. Like

Why? Because it happens to others and not to me or my friends that I know of. The other thing is we pray for it to happen, but it never happens. Like wishing we win the lotto but others always do. But something happened to me that has changed this view.

In February I came back from a holiday in Manila. I attended our high school reunion. I saw classmates whom I’ve never seen for decades and met up with people who I yearned to be friends with. It all turned out well but for a few whom I missed because they did not attend the reunion. Two of them where my seatmates since my first year in high school. So having sat with them for the duration of high school, which at that time seemed to be a lifetime, you tend to have that affinity and closeness. Reunions and sentiments go together, in my view. This is why it I was a little bit disappointed when I missed out on some of them to renew the friendship.


When I got back to Melbourne, weeks after, as I was getting in the midst of a hectic working schedule, I got an alarming text that one of my classmates had a heart attack and was confined to the hospital in a comatose state. I was alarmed because I had no idea he was here in Melbourne. I was never told in Manila that I had a classmate living in Melbourne. On the text message, there were no details which hospital and who to contact. I got the message on a Wednesday, he got confined since Saturday morning. I had no idea who to contact and who was the closest relative. I made a few phone calls to Manila to get more information. The details arrived to me late that day.


So Rombert was confined in the ICU of the Alfred Hospital in the City. His wife Joanne was the person to contact. I was able to get a cell phone number but nobody was answering it. Thursday, mid-morning I went to the Alfred. I met Joanne, and I introduced myself as one of Rombert’s former schoolmate in high school. This is where I got the full story.


Joann was working in Melbourne as a computer IT expert. Rombert was recovering from his kidney ailment and was having regular dialysis in Manila. He was about to have a kidney transplant operation before he decided to visit his wife first then have the operation. I told Joann I did not realize that Rombert was in Melbourne since February 19. It was already April. I really could not say much to Joann to comfort her. You can really read in her face the anguish and uncertainty she was experiencing.  She took me to the ward Robert was in, he was in a respirator since that Saturday. I told her to keep on talking to him because based on our personal experience hearing was still present even in a comatose state. I just told Rombert that I was there and I was looking forward to seeing him again when he recovers. I told him I would let the batch know that we will all pray for his recovery. We then went back to the waiting area and talked about what happened. As she told me the whole incident, tears were flowing down her eyes. She was a bit embarrassed, but I said it was better to let all these emotions out so that she will feel better. The doctors in the Alfred had a grim prognosis based on the scans they took of Rombert’s brain. They were telling her that there was no point of keeping him in a respirator. Joann told the doctors in the Alfred that she did not want to make that decision alone. She said she would wait for two of Rombert’s sister to arrive, one from America, and one from Manila.

The Premonition?Joanne never believed that

Joanne never believed that Rombert was brain-dead because of so many things that she felt and could not explain. The other thing which was most weird and astonishing was the last photo Rombert took of himself through his cell-phone camera. This self-photo was taken before his cardiac arrest. What happened was, while Rombert was sight-seeing in the city he went by a `Broadway-like’ musical production in a theatre in Melbourne. He went to the venue’s souvenir shop. He found this shirt he liked and wore it and took a photo of him, in the shirt, it was printed `I’M NOT DEAD YET!’. Joanne accidentally found this picture in Rombert’s camera while he was in a coma.

It was 2 days after did Rombert’s sister arrive in Melbourne. The sister from Manila was not granted a visa.

On the 6th of May Joanne, flew Rombert home to Manila, and directly took him to Makati Medical Center. They were able to revive him.

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