Hours after his father died, Leandro “Jan” Castillo Resurreccion IV took to Facebook to pay tribute to a great man, Dr. Jun Resurreccion.
At around 6:25 a.m. on the 31st of March 2020, my father Dr. Leandro “Jun” L. Resurreccion III, Pediatric Transplant Surgeon, passed away due to Acute Respiratory Failure brought about by Covid-19.
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.
Dr. Leandro L. Resurreccion was the head of the pediatric surgery division of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. In a statement, PCMC called him their “first fallen soldier in the battle vs. COVID-19.” “The PCMC Family mourns the passing of a great surgeon, teacher, academician and friend to all. He was well known locally and abroad as forward looking in his vision for pediatric surgery especially in liver transplants which he was working to the end. Always smiling, friendly and very ‘cool,’ he will be missed.”
Jan wrote about how, when he was 13, his father was certified as a pediatric transplant surgeon at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Australia.
Dr. Jun Resurreccion could have chosen to stay there, the hospital wanted him to, but he decided to go back to the Philippines because, according to Jan, “at that time, there were no pediatric transplant surgeons in the country.”
“He did not do it for money nor for prestige, but because he was needed,” Jan wrote.
His father had “a fiery passion for his profession,” Jan said, and he had the same passion for “what the country needed.”
Jan wrote, “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.”
An uphill battle
Jan thanked their family and friends for supporting them through what he called “an uphill battle.” And he thanked the health workers who took care of his father. “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 also had words for the 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.”
And he’s asking everyone to stay home. “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 front-liners in this fight against this ravaging enemy. If we lose those who protect us, who else will?”
Dr. Jun Resurreccion was just 57 when he died. Jan wrote, “I thank God for the 57 years you gave him. I thank the country for giving him a home for those 57 years.”
And of course, he had words for his father: “Rest In Peace, Dad. I love you forever. You will always be my hero.”
In another post, he wrote, “We’re warriors, dad. Don’t forget that. I love you.”