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May 26, 2022

With a new lease on life, Tzu Chi beneficiary pays it forward

After receiving angioplasty assistance, Virgilio Rom donates to Tzu Chi.

 

By Ben Baquilod

 

 

“The seeds of blessings must be sowed whenever their fruits are harvested to ensure that the virtuous cycle continues indefinitely,” said Dharma Master Cheng Yen.

 

This aphorism is embodied by Virgilio Rom, a Tzu Chi beneficiary who is now happily sharing good seeds of love with others. In a recent visit to his workplace, Virgilio gave another deposit slip of his donation to Tzu Chi—his third since returning to work three months after his successful angioplasty operation. “I promised myself to give back to Tzu Chi in any way that I can, so I can also help others,” he says.

 

Several months before, Virgilio had been experiencing intermittent episodes of chest pain and shortness of breath. In October 2021, he underwent an angiogram procedure and was diagnosed with one-vessel coronary artery disease, a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Due to high cost of the procedure, their savings was depleted.

 

But the sad news didn’t end there. After the angiogram, he was advised to undergo coronary angioplasty that would cost him about half a million pesos. “We were so shocked to see the quotation. Where would we get that huge amount of money?” he worried.

 

His wife, Memia started seeking help from government offices to raise funds, but they weren’t enough. Until Memia’s workmate suggested that they reach out to Tzu Chi. “I never lost hope. I really prayed to God to help us,” she said. And it was indeed an answered prayer when her application for assistance was approved. “I persevered because I love my husband. And I love my children.”

 

Virgilio’s case was referred to the Chinese General Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Kent Tan. The procedure cost was lowered to Php 336,850, and Dr. Tan, once again, waived his professional fee.

 

On November 26, 2021, the surgery was successfully performed. Tzu Chi covered all the hospital bills.

 

Virgilio is filled with immense gratitude to have been given a new lease on life. “This is really a big help and we were overflowing with joy. Thank you, Tzu Chi and the medical team of Dr. Kent Tan for giving us this procedure for free,” he says.

 

After three months of rest, he returned to his work in February 2022 as a bookkeeper in a construction company. “Before, I didn’t have the energy to wake up in the morning. I felt like a burning candle, dying slowly. But now, I feel great to have returned to work,” he cheers. He has also maintained a healthier lifestyle, has been eating more vegetables, and has quit drinking alcohol.

 

What’s more, he has been a regular donor to Tzu Chi, hoping to help people who are in need. “That’s how I can give back to Tzu Chi. The small amount I give, pooled with others’ donation, will go far,” he believes.

 

Volunteer Alvin Acero felt good to witness Virgilio’s journey. “I feel happy to see that he is very positive,” said Alvin in their home visit to Virgilio after his operation. “He has donated some of his savings and expressed his intent to volunteer. It’s so heartwarming to see that he wants to help others in his own ways.”

 

Virgilio also thanks Master Cheng Yen for inspiring millions of people worldwide to sow seeds of blessings. “I admire what you do, Master Cheng Yen. People who have a big heart as yours are one-of-a-kind. You created a foundation whose mission is to help and change the lives of the poor and those in need. Thank you so much.”

Virgilio Rom gives a deposit slip of his donation to Tzu Chi staff—his third since returning to work three months after his successful angioplasty operation. “I promised myself to give back to Tzu Chi in any way that I can, so I can also help others,” he says. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 Virgilio Rom gives a deposit slip of his donation to Tzu Chi staff—his third since returning to work three months after his successful angioplasty operation. “I promised myself to give back to Tzu Chi in any way that I can, so I can also help others,” he says. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
Virgilio collects donation from his co-worker. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 Virgilio collects donation from his co-worker. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
After three months of rest, Virgilio returned to his work in February 2022 as a bookkeeper in a construction company. “Before, I didn’t have the energy to wake up in the morning. I felt like a burning candle, dying slowly. But now, I feel great to have returned to work,” he cheers. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 After three months of rest, Virgilio returned to his work in February 2022 as a bookkeeper in a construction company. “Before, I didn’t have the energy to wake up in the morning. I felt like a burning candle, dying slowly. But now, I feel great to have returned to work,” he cheers. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
Virgilio thanks Master Cheng Yen for inspiring millions of people worldwide to sow seeds of blessings. “I admire what you do, Master Cheng Yen. People who have a big heart as yours are one-of-a-kind. You created a foundation whose mission is to help and change the lives of the poor and those in need. Thank you so much.” 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 Virgilio thanks Master Cheng Yen for inspiring millions of people worldwide to sow seeds of blessings. “I admire what you do, Master Cheng Yen. People who have a big heart as yours are one-of-a-kind. You created a foundation whose mission is to help and change the lives of the poor and those in need. Thank you so much.” 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
“I never lost hope. I really prayed to God to help us,” says Memia, Virgilio’s wife who applied to Tzu Chi for her husband’s operation. “I persevered because I love my husband. And I love my children.” 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 “I never lost hope. I really prayed to God to help us,” says Memia, Virgilio’s wife who applied to Tzu Chi for her husband’s operation. “I persevered because I love my husband. And I love my children.” 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
“I never lost hope. I really prayed to God to help us,” says Memia, Virgilio’s wife who applied to Tzu Chi for her husband’s operation. “I persevered because I love my husband. And I love my children.” 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 “I never lost hope. I really prayed to God to help us,” says Memia, Virgilio’s wife who applied to Tzu Chi for her husband’s operation. “I persevered because I love my husband. And I love my children.” 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
Volunteers visit Virgilio Rom at his home in Greenhills, San Juan after the successful angioplasty operation. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 Volunteers visit Virgilio Rom at his home in Greenhills, San Juan after the successful angioplasty operation. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
Volunteers visit Virgilio Rom at his home in Greenhills, San Juan after the successful angioplasty operation. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 Volunteers visit Virgilio Rom at his home in Greenhills, San Juan after the successful angioplasty operation. 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
 “I feel happy to see that he is very positive,” says volunteer Alvin Acero in their home visit to Virgilio after his operation. “He has donated some of his savings and expressed his intent to volunteer. It’s so heartwarming to see that he wants to help others in his own ways.” 【Photo by Matt Serrano】 “I feel happy to see that he is very positive,” says volunteer Alvin Acero in their home visit to Virgilio after his operation. “He has donated some of his savings and expressed his intent to volunteer. It’s so heartwarming to see that he wants to help others in his own ways.” 【Photo by Matt Serrano】
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Tzu Chi Philippines

Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Philippines - Jing Si Hall

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info@tzuchi.org.ph

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