FCT Update: Incredible Julie Corpuz

Community News & Features Feb 16, 2005 at 3:07 pm

By Aida E. D’Orazio

The re-emergence of Julie Corpuz in the Filipino community and at the FCT Board meetings is quite inspirational. Her remarkable recovery from a usually fatal disease is something people will not easily forget.

On October 23, 2003, Julie was found frothing in the mouth and unconscious in bed by her boarder who came to her bedroom to wake her up for Sunday Mass. An ambulance was called and she was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital where she was diagnosed to have aneurysm (a blood-filled dilatation of a blood vessel) in the brain. Despite an operation and efforts to revive her, she remained in a coma – occasionally opening her eyes only to stare blankly at relatives and friends who tried to speak to her. As three months went by, there was no improvement. Eventually, she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

“The only thing I remember was feeling dizzy and a headache while dressing up for church,” she said. “Then I decided to lie in bed to rest a while. I must have fallen asleep.”

It was indeed a long sleep and a dreamless one that lasted almost a year. No one thought she would come out of it alive. And if she did, she would most likely be severely impaired. However, prayers for her recovery never stopped. Her family even brought her home on her birthday, March 8, the following year hoping that familiar surroundings would help jolt her back to consciousness. But it wasn’t till June 2004 after her second operation a month before at St. Mike’s to remove fluid from her brain that suddenly and miraculously she regained consciousness and was able to talk. Slowly, she found out the details of what had transpired. She was sent home in August 2004 – 11 months after her stroke.

That week, eager to tell friends of her incredible recovery and to thank them for their prayers, Julie rang them up. Her “Guess who?” calls almost caused a few at the other end of the line to have cardiac arrest. She showed up at the FCT to attend the Cabbagetown Festival last September. With the help of a walker, she actually was walking! Indeed, she is unbelievably back to life and looking forward to continue the volunteer work she had previously been doing as member of the FCT Board of Directors and as past president of the Ontario Filipino Women’s Club. She is also determined to walk down the hall, sans walker, on the night of the Presidents’ Gala. Welcome back, Julie!

Free Tagalog Movies on Seniors Day

Take note, particularly Filipino seniors. There will be a free showing of two Tagalog films at the Rizal Hall, Filipino Centre Toronto on Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. The movies will be Mano Po and Crying Ladies. The occasion will also serve as the inauguration of the giant screen at the Rizal Hall where a life-size bust of Dr. Jose Rizal, sitting atop a pedestal, dominates the hall. (The beautiful sculpture is on loan from the skilled sculptor himself, Mogi Mogado.)

Earlier in the afternoon at 5 p.m., there will be a session on the issues of Living Will and Last Will and Testament at the Rizal Hall, chaired by Linda Taiabjee. Those of you who want to see the movies may just as well come early to take advantage of these sensitive topics. Many of us are afraid of death and any mention of pre-death preparations may even cause anxiety to some. But, really, there is a need for such documents to ease the worry and burden off our caregivers.