FEU nursing alumna who aided roadside birth earns 2020 ‘Bayaning Nars’ recognition

FEU Advocate
October 29, 2020 06:26

By Ma. Emilia Nicole D. Bertulfo and Antonio Luis Carreon

Far Eastern University (FEU) Institute of Nursing (IN) alumna一Mary Lorraine Pingol’s display of bravery amplified the fortitude of the nursing profession.

Pingol recently made headlines and sensational buzz after a video surfaced online exhibiting her calm and collected composure when called for the emergency delivery ahead of a medical rescue team in Makati City, which she later attributed to her sworn oath as a nurse.

The nurse bagged the ‘Bayaning Nars’ award last October 20 from an accredited professional organization, Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), Incorporated during a virtual convention to mark the 63rd Philippine Nurse’s Week and celebrate its 98th anniversary.

When I first learned about this, I was surprised. I was really surprised because I never expected to receive any professional recognition as a nurse because I haven’t been in the nursing practice for so long,” Pingol shared. 

The award is voted upon annually by the PNA members to show tribute to their colleagues who made a remarkable impact on the nursing profession. The award is a clear reflection of giving due recognition and acknowledgement to the often under-looked and under-appreciated unsung Filipino nurse heroes.

“In recognition of her selfless and heroic deed in helping a homeless mother giving birth to her newborn before the rescue team arrived. She exemplified bravery, professionalism, caring, and integrity beyond her call of duty. Her extraordinary deed is an epitome of pride and inspiration to the nursing profession,” Pingol’s citation read.

According to Dr. Clement John Navarrete, governor of National Capital Region zones four and five who nominated the FEU alumna for the Bayaning Nars award, Pingol is the only living candidate who qualified for the award this year.

Alongside Pingol, the one-of-a-kind “Bayaning Nars” awards were also given to 14 other nurses posthumously as a tribute to those who passed away due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Included in the set of awardees is Cainta nurse Ma. Theresa Cruz, whose death shed much light and awareness on the real struggles, difficult conditions, and current welfare of the medical frontliners amid the pandemic.

The other nurses awarded with the PNA’s recognition after battling COVID-19 were Manuel Pacheco, Rosalino Cruz, Elvies Duque, Arvin Pascual, Faye Marie Palafox, Eric Arandia, Ian Anthony Vilog, Shiela Malto, Baguio Arenas, Gamir Gumayan, Joey Ner, Gilbert Catan, and Albert Bryan Aspiras.

During her last interview with the FEU Advocate, she disclosed information about her Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in 2011, which served as her last straw before leaving as a nurse trainee at a hospital in Tarlac to venture on different career paths before her employment as a company nurse.

Pingol had a moment of reckoning after receiving several recognitions and shared, “To me, it is like a sign from God, it’s like He’s telling me, hey Lorrainne, you are here to become a nurse. Nursing is really for you so continue it, do not run away again from it.”

The heroic nurse said that the professional recognition not only elevated her morale and confidence, but also influenced her ‘change of heart’ for a possible opportunity as a hospital nurse, although she still has reservations to avoid compromising her health. 

Aside from the award, Pingol was also recently awarded with another accolade last October 22一the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, given by Health Carousel Philippines, Inc. in partnership with the Diseases Attacking the Immune System (DAISY) Foundation that honors nurses internationally across the globe.

Raffy Tulfo also expressed his admiration to the company nurse and lauded Pingol for her act of kindness. She was featured at ‘Raffy Tulfo in Action’ and surprised by the veteran radio broadcaster with a cash reward of P100,000. 

Through the initiative of Chooks-to-Go ambassador, Kobe ParasーPingol also feted the ‘Manok ng Bayan Award’ for her extraordinary manifestation of selflessness and bravery. Pingol joins the likes of Gabe Norwood, Kiefer Ravena, and Captain Tristan Simeon as the recipients of the said award.  

Malasakit Movement headed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago also awarded Pingol with a Plaque of Appreciation after the nurse’s initiative to take action in helping the homeless woman give birth.

“He gave me more than what I asked. He gave me these recognitions so at first I was surprised but at the same time I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity to have these kinds of prestigious recognitions for nurses so it lifts up my morale as a nurse and it motivates me to do better as a nurse and as a human being,” Pingol expressed.

Despite being acclaimed and tagged as a ‘modern hero’, Pingol asserted that she doesn’t consider herself as a hero since she rather ascribes that moment simply as a call of duty and a moral responsibility.   

In the thick of the unprecedented pandemic, Pingol’s “selfless and heroic” act to respond efficiently with no hint of hesitation is a clear testament of her golden heart and core professionalism to live the sacred oath and sworn duty she promised to uphold and continue to carry onーto be of genuine service to others, even under the veil of a strained public health crisis.