In 1999, there was a young boy who had an abdominal wound that could not be surgically closed.
Sedrick Ocampo was 11 when he ruptured his appendix. As he was still too young and too thin, his body was not yet ready for surgery. He was in so much pain, and many feared that he would not make it, among them broadcast journalist Bernadette Sembrano.
“I didn’t know if the 11-year old boy would survive. He could not stand up straight because the open wound on his abdomen has not healed. He almost died,” Sembrano recalled.
Thirteen years later, Sembrano would find herself face-to-face with Sedrick, marveling at his resilience and remarkable transformation. She shared her encounter with Sedrick on her Instagram.
Gone was the gaping hole in his body. His once-frail body now filled up, and the boy, now 24, appeared to have adjusted well post-operation and is living a normal life as a pre-med student.
“Trust God’s plan even in your pain,” Sembrano said on Instagram, as she noted how Sedrick did not allow his pain to overcome him.
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“It was taking forever for his body to be surgery-ready (5 long years to be exact!) He cried and was in much pain not just physically but because he couldn’t do things other kids his age could do. He stopped school. He loved school and was an honor student,” said Sembrano.
While other students his age went to school, Sedrick was forced to stop school and stay at home to recuperate and to prevent infection from setting in. His life soon fell into a routine of constantly going back-and-forth between his home and the hospital.
Still he and his parents persevered for him to get well. His father, a tricycle driver, did everything to meet his only son’s medical needs. Schooling had to wait, even though Sedrick was a consistent honor student.
After his surgery, Sedrick was finally able to go back to school, Never mind that his original batch mates were already 7 years ahead of him — he did not let that distract him. He took up Alternative Learning System (ALS) and graduated with flying colors.
Now he is a Medical Technology graduate, and plans to take up medicine with specialization in either Pediatrics or Pathology, or even become a public health doctor.
“He is grateful to Our Lady of Fatima University for taking an ALS passer like him. He took up Medical Technology and almost graduated Cum Laude. He wants to be a Physician someday: a Pediatric surgeon, a Pathologist or a Public Health doctor. Even though his journey is far ahead, he is already a winner!” Sembrano gushed.
Sedrick told her that if he were to go through his life again, he would still choose to take the same path — a brave pronouncement from somebody who never lost hope and strove to become stronger so that he could help others who may go through the same agony that he did.
“He wants to be a light for others who are feeling hopeless… Once again, I am blessed by seeing the LIGHT in others. Once again, I am a witness of God’s love,” said Sembrano, who said that even as a journalist who has constantly encountered distress among subjects of her story, she is still pleasantly transformed by news of resilience. EDV