‘Miracle’: Cebu’s Cardinal Vidal wakes up from coma
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Physicians attending to Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal described the former prelate’s revival from a two-day coma as a miracle, saying they were preparing for the worst.
Vidal, 86, the country’s most senior cardinal, was rushed to the Perpetual Succour Hospital past 2 am on Wednesday, October 11, due to fever and shortness of breath. The retired cardinal, however, collapsed a few hours later in the same hospital and fell into a coma.
“We were preparing for the worst because he was not responding and was in a semi-coma state,” Dr Rene Josef Bullecer, one of Vidal’s physicians and a close friend of the prelate, told Rappler Friday afternoon.
Bullecer clarified though that the cardinal did not suffer cardiac arrest, as what has been reported by other media outlets, but fell ill due to sepsis, a result of a massive immune response to bacterial infection that gets into the blood.
“All his vital signs are now normal. His heart condition is normal. It was not cardiac arrest but sepsis. We still do not have any idea how he got the infection,” Bullecer said.
He added that Vidal’s team of physicians – composed of cardiologist, neurologist, and pulmonary specialist – said on Thursday, that it will take a miracle to revive Vidal based on his condition on Wednesday and Thursday.
Due to the seriousness of Vidal’s condition, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma administered the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, commonly called the final anointing, to Vidal last Wednesday.
“It was a miracle, indeed, that the cardinal opened his eyes this morning (October 13) and has become responsive after two days of being unconscious,” Bullecer said. He stressed, however, that Vidal was still unable to talk due to the apparatus attached to his mouth.
Vidal’s sense of pain has returned and he already reacted when doctors pinched him.
Bullecer, however, said the cardinal’s condition is still 50-50 and doctors continue to put him under thorough observation, although he personally said Vidal is showing good signs of recovery.
Bullecer added that doctors did their best to revive Vidal even as the retired cardinal had earlier told him that he no longer wants to be revived should he fall unconscious.
Vidal, whose resignation as Archbishop of Cebu on October 15, 2010, was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI, has been in and out of the hospital due to pneumonia. He was succeeded by Palma.
He is currently one of the 4 living cardinals in the Philippines, along with Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo. – Rappler.com