FEU Advocate
September 04, 2020 12:26

By Ma. Emilia Nicole D. Bertulfo
Photos courtesy of Lorrainne Pingol, Bangkal Rescue Team

Far Eastern University (FEU) is home to the brave Tamaraws. Lorrainne Pingol, an alumna of FEU Institute of Nursing (IN) Batch 2011, is a perfectly clear testament to the University’s bravery and resiliency mantra.

Pingol’s act of kindness and courage made sensational buzz after helping Jeca Mae Rausa, a 31-year-old pregnant street dweller deliver her baby on a sidewalk of Osmeña Highway in Makati. Despite running late for her work as a company nurse at Medicard and waiting for a shuttle, she did not hesitate to offer her assistance and instead quickly responded to the emergency delivery.

With limited proper resources and only using alcohol disinfected equipment from Barangay Bangkal rescue team members, Pingol responded to the medical emergency and answered the woman’s call for aid.

“Given the circumstance at that moment, I had no choice. So what we did was, since we didn’t have any sterile tools, we disinfected the scissors with alcohol. At least there was some disinfection than having nothing at all,” she said.

During the procedure, she said she tried to recall all the deliveries she assisted and performed in the operating and delivery room when she was a third and fourth year nursing student at FEU-Manila.

Pingol explained the delivery had no complications because the placenta was “shiny and intact.” She then revealed this was her first time to pull the placenta out completely of the womb and clamp and cut the baby’s umbilical cord despite having the experience to assist in delivery rooms in 2012 — the only year she worked in a hospital as a nurse trainee in Tarlac.

Two years after graduating cum laude from the University and passing the Philippine Nurses Licensure Examination (PNLE) the same year in 2011, she was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

After she was diagnosed with leukemia, her health condition prompted Pingol to have a change of heart and give up working as a hospital nurse to avoid compromising her immune system furthermore.

Pingol avoided working in the healthcare industry for seven years. She was afraid of risking herself to possible infection in the nursing practice because she wanted to “prolong her life.”

“I think leukemia has affected me emotionally more than physically dahil (because) I want to have a long life. I want to prolong my life, enjoy my life, I want to reach my dreams. I want to have my own family,” Pingol shared.

Despite being immunocompromised, Pingol described herself as a “survivor” and a “fighter.”

For the past years, her nursing career shifted and diverted to different types of jobs such as teaching German and English languages and working as call center agent.

However, Pingol said she had “realizations and regrets” which led her back to pursue the nursing profession after many years. This passion and drive to practice what she learned from college made her decide to apply as a caregiver in an elderly facility in Japan.

She described this working experience as a stepping stone and said, “I felt na gusto ko bumalik sa nursing (I felt that I wanted to go back to the nursing profession). Nanghinayang ako dun sa pinag-aralan ko, yung pinagpaguran ko ng apat na taon para makapagtapos at nag-take ako ng board exam, pasado ako (I felt bad for my education, I worked hard for it for four years to be able to graduate and I took the board exam, I passed).

Currently, Pingol works as an occupational nurse in Medicard Philippines after she returned from Japan last 2019.

Pingol’s relentless strength in battling leukemia and her moral responsibility to be of service to the homeless pregnant woman speaks volume of the true marks of a Tamaraw — unafraid and ready to take charge.

Stories like Pingol’s bravery and service may serve as an inspiration for others amid the unprecedented current health crisis and hopefully uplift the morale of the healthcare team and medical front-liners. Her act of kindness to help and live out the oath she took to protect and save lives is one to be celebrated and remembered.

Sana sa lahat ng gagawin natin, maging inspirasyon tayo sa ating kapwa. Tulong ka lang kung may kakayahan ka. Kung kaya mo, tumulong ka kasi it would save lives (I hope in everything we do, let us be an inspiration to others. Help others if you have the capability. If you can, extend your help because it would save lives),” Pingol shared.

Truly, when duty calls anytime and anywhere, you listen. And Pingol, a product of FEU-Manila and pride of the said institute, did not falter to embody the values and principles of a true Tamaraw by heart and action.