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Heart O’ Mama – A Bitter-Sweet Journey

At first, I can’t believe that it is really happening, it was only when the doctors started talking to me and explained to me what is happening when it dawned on me that yes, that was me rushing my mom to the emergency, that was my mom in the stretcher being taken by the paramedics and was brought to another hospital to undergo an angioplasty and it was still her laying in the hospital bed inside the intensive care unit of the third hospital that we went on that morning of May 13.

In June of 2015, my mom came to Winnipeg for the second time. She and my dad first came to Winnipeg in 2012, after their 16 months stay, they left Canada in November of 2013. On their second visit, my mother travelled back to Winnipeg without my father, Dad followed her in April 2016 and they are supposedly travelling together in going back to Manila in after the summer.

My mom has hypertension and diabetes, she has been taking maintenance drugs for both illnesses but it didn’t come in to my mind that one day she would suffer from coronary heart disease which led us to where we are now. She and dad are both very careful and conscious with their activities and diet.

I will not deny how difficult it is to be away from your family and relatives when faced with a difficult situation, especially if you are used to having your family, relatives and friends supporting you whenever times are tough for you.  But in a place where almost everyone you know are busy with their jobs and their own responsibilities, you do not have a choice but to tell your self to be strong, to stay calm and assure you self that you’ll get over it.

When I had to seat at the waiting room outside ICU, things are slowly coming to me, I held my phone and started texting close friends, maybe because I am trying to find support and to keep my self away from worrying about my mom and about the whole situation.

Yes, I know that at my age now, I must understand that my parents are also getting old and I have to be prepared that there will really come a time that their health will deteriorate… But, no amount of logical thinking will ever prepare a daughter like me to a situation that you are watching your parents in a bad situation.

To make the story short, my mother suffered heart attack on that day the we brought my mother to the emergency, it was found out that she is suffering from coronary artery disease that caused her heart attack, she immediately underwent Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) and was confined in ICU for 3 days.  And because she has a number of blocked arteries and she was brought back to emergency twice after 3 weeks of her first heart attack, she underwent another PCI for her 3 more blocked arteries in June 15th.  She is now recuperating and my family and I are optimistic that she will recover from this.  Because both my mother and my father are not residents of Canada, I am left with thousands of dollars in hospital and medical fees.  With the high medical bills that we are facing my husband and I were actually joking we’ll just imagine we are paying for a brand new fully-loaded 2016 Honda Pilot Touring!

I do not have siblings here in Canada, both my 2 sisters are in the Philippines, indeed, this is my husband and I’s biggest challenge so far since we moved to Canada… But I guess, life does not give you lemons all the time, life also gives you chocolates to cheer you up!

… I guess Forrest Gump’s mom is right, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

I did not expect the help and support that I received (and I am receiving) from the people around me and from the people that I have not even met…

Photo credit to Von Cruz

When my best friend who is in Singapore knew what happened and the problem I am facing, she tried to think of ways how she can send financial help, the same goes to some of my 2 sisters’ friends, hence they put up a gofundme account for my mom. To my surprise, there were some of my friends whom I have not seen for a while and colleagues here in Winnipeg. As of this writing, 60 people have raised a total of $3,215.00 (of the $40,000 needed) has been donated through the Heart O’Momma-Julie’s Medical Funds.

During the time that I was so down and worrying to much, here comes a “kumare” whose family has treated our family as part of theirs sent me a private message telling me that she and her family would like to help us by way of setting up a fundraiser.  Right now, they are busy planning and organizing the Heart O’ Mama Bingo Social which will be held on July 16 at Maples Community Centre.

At work, my colleagues put up a Barbeque fundraiser and a 50/50 draw and gave all proceeds to me that is also a great help in settling our hospital bills.  While another colleague of mine also did a separate fundraiser through the fundraising program offered by Gold Canyon.

Credit to KC Designs

Words are not enough to express my gratefulness.  I am very thankful to all the people who extended their help and concern. Indeed, Winnipeggers are very generous, even people whom I haven’t met and knew about my story readily extended their help, there are those who sent comforting messages through my Facebook account while some even sent money. While there were individuals and local businesses who since they received our letter of donation for the Heart O’ Mama Bingo Social immediately gave a positive response and pledge for help.

This page will not be enough to mention each individuals or local businesses and companies that extended their help… but in our hearts they will never be forgotten.  This journey would be more difficult to face if not for all the help and support that I am getting from all these kindhearted people.



Momsiecle is short for Momsie's Circle. I started my first blog on a free blogging platform in 2006 as a just for fun blog. When my family and I moved to Winnipeg in 2009, I started to write about my challenges and discoveries about living in Canada as an immigrant. In 2012, I decided to make a place to come for aspiring Canadian immigrants and for people who are embracing life in the “new world” that they are in.

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Cup of Tyh

Thanks for stopping by, as I make this space to be my superwoman wannabe diary, I want to share my life experiences as a mom, an immigrant, a financial advisor, a mortgage specialist and my life in general.

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