U.P. Singing Doctor Dies After Second Bout with COVID-19
ILLUSTRATOR BIANCA PAPA
Dr. Kathlynne Abat-Senen, a neonatologist and infectious disease expert, has died of COVID-19 after a second bout with the virus. She is survived by her husband, Jerome, a pediatric pulmonologist, and two young children.
Abat-Senen was a faculty member and medical consultant at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine-Philippines General Hospital. She was connected with five hospitals and made the rounds at their intensive care units delivering preterm infants or taking care of very ill ones.
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Back in April, she posted a tribute to young frontliners on Facebook. She sang “The Warrior is a Child.”
“The current pandemic has placed our youngest colleagues, the residents and fellows, in the hospital frontlines,” she wrote. “Our beloved frontliners, we the consultants, recognize your bravery... your grit... your passion for serving others.
“We know that you fear this disease. We thank you for choosing to face the battle each and every day inspite of the fear."
She sang her way into our hearts and made us smile with her love for her husband of 12 years. They celebrated their anniversary in the car on their way to work, wearing PPEs and face shields. We rooted for their lovely story.
He enjoyed listening to his wife sing as much as she loved singing.
"After hospital rounds, time for some Karen-oke with Jerome. Mapapakanta ko kaya siya?
Each day is so much beautiful with you."
Later that month, she posted a quote from Mother Teresa.
“Spread love wherever you go. Let no one come to you without leaving happier,” she wrote in calligraphy.
In May, a post showed her exhaustion and fatigue as she dealt with numerous patients, but still she soldiered on.
In June, she shared a photo of herself in the car, taking a break in her car due to sheer exhaustion, but always, with a smile.
Later that month, while hospitalized for her first bout with COVID-19, she posted another phrase written in calligraphy.
“Counting my blessings,” she wrote. “God knows what is in your heart even before you find the words to say it,” she said in the Facebook caption.
A few weeks later, she posted a video of herself singing joyfully as she awaited discharge after recovering from COVID -19. The video was posted on July 3.
By July 12, she was readmitted to the hospital.
After fighting valiantly for six weeks, she passed away on August 23.
Her husband posted a tribute to her on Facebook.
"August 23, 2020, 7:46am
"This is the exact date and time when my lovely wife, Kathlynne Anne Abat-Senen, lost in her biggest and longest fight ever. No more pain and suffering, hon. It was a hard fought 44 days in the hospital. We, your entire family, were there with you every step of the way.
"I will always love you, and keep you close to my heart. I will still say 'I Love You,' even if there is no physical reply. But I will always feel your presence as if you never left my side.
"I will always remember your angelic voice. Good thing you had a lot of recordings for which I will remember it by.
"You have always been a bright and shining star in any endeavor you partake. You learn and excel in any field you put your mind to, may it be art, photography, calligraphy, medicine, singing, or simply just being a wife, a daughter, a sister, or a mom.
"As I held your hand physically one last time yesterday, I made a promise to you that I will try my best to be as good as you in the roles and things that you do. But I do think I can't hold a candle to you. You're that good.
"The world is a little dimmer when it lost a bright light in you. I will try to carry on that light in me.
"Please always look down on us, guide us, and pray for us from above, as we all venture into this new chapter in our lives.
"To my soulmate, my love for you will always burn like the sun. I love you."
Here's Jerome Senen's heartbreaking, inspiring post.
Rest in peace, our singing doctor.