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Pediatric transplant surgeon succumbs to COVID-19

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has once again claimed the life of another doctor.

Dr. Leandro Resurreccion III, a pediatric transplant surgeon, passed away on Tuesday morning due to acute respiratory failure brought about by COVID-19. He was 57 years old.

Resurreccion’s daughter, Pia, confirmed the unfortunate news in a Facebook post. He died at the intensive care unit of the Philippine General Hospital after battling the disease for almost three weeks.


“It is with our deepest sorrows to say that he has lost the battle. He passed away this morning in the ICU of the Philippine General Hospital. Although we could not see him through this ordeal, he was under the best care of his PGH family. For all their efforts, we are truly grateful,” she said.

“We would also like to thank everyone who helped us through these trying times,” Pia added.

Meanwhile, Resurreccion’s son, Leandro IV, also mourned the passing of his father.

“There were no hugs, there were no kisses, and there were no goodbyes. As a matter of fact, the last time I saw him, he was still able to smile. It gives you a kind of heartbreak that I cannot even explain,” he wrote on Facebook.


Leandro IV said his father was a certified pediatric transplant surgeon in Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Australia back then but decided to come back to the Philippines to serve his countrymen.

“[T]here were no Pediatric Transplant Surgeons in the country. And we needed one. He did not do it for money nor for prestige, but because he was needed. He always embodied a kind of fiery passion for his profession but he always spoke of what the country needed together with such passion,” he said.

Dr. Resurreccion has served at PGH, St. Luke's Medical Center, Philippine Children's Medical Center and the Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation Medical Center.

For Leandro IV, he wants to remember his father as a “citizen of the world who cared for it and fought for it.”

“And I choose to remember him like this. Not only as a statistic in the current war we are fighting. Not only as a surgeon who pioneered for the nation. Not only as a father for his family. But as a Citizen of The World who cared for it and fought for it. He will always be our hero.”

Leandro IV thanked his family, friends and his father’s colleagues for being with him every step of the way.

“I thank God for the 57 years you gave him. I thank the country for giving him a home for those 57 years. I thank my family for being there for us during this battle. I thank my dad’s girlfriend, Tita Cheryl Singzon, for without you, we would feel forever alone. I thank my Brods in the Aquila Legis for all the support in this battle we hurdle. I thank my family’s friends for everything. I thank my dad’s friends, his batch mates, his kabarkadas, his colleagues, the Pediatric Surgery community, his PGH Family for all the support and, most importantly, the words that helped us go through this uphill battle. Though we may lose, we’ll never bend.”

“Last, and most definitely not the least, I thank Dr. Es Saguil, Dr. Alvin Caballes, Dr. Benedicto, Dr. Villalobos, Dr. Albay, Dr. Roni Paclibar, and all the doctors, nurses, staff who attended my dad. I kid you not, you guys feel like family to us and without you, we would not have had a fighting chance. I also thank all the front liners. May God bless you all,” he added.

He also appealed to the national government for a “more coherent plan” regarding mass testing for COVID-19.

“I hope I am not looked down for this, but I appeal to the National Government. Your efforts this lockdown have been commendable because I have seen firsthand how the battle against COVID-19 has been fought on with full force but I appeal that we may have a more coherent plan in order to test everyone and isolate.”

“Let us break the chain,” he added.

Leandro IV also asked the public to stay at home to curb the spread of the virus and help the country’s frontliners in battling COVID-19.

“Lastly, I appeal to each and every person to please, please, please stay at home, unless it is absolutely necessary. Let us not only protect our loved ones, but also our frontliners in this fight against this ravaging enemy. If we lose those who protect us, who else will?” he said.

“Rest In Peace, Dad. I love you forever. You will always be my hero.”

Dr. Resurreccion now joins the roster of brave Filipino doctors who died in the country’s battle against COVID-19.

In a nationally televised address on Monday night President Rodrigo Duterte again paid tribute to the country’s frontliners against COVID-19, saying the health workers who passed away in the war against the virus were fortunate to die in the line of duty.

“I assure you that your efforts will be rewarded. Your heroism will not be forgotten. Saludo kami sa inyo,” Duterte said.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 1,546 cases of COVID-19, including 78 fatalities and 42 recoveries.

READCOVID-19 Dashboard: Summary of Cases in the Philippines

—KG, GMA News