Note: Here is a reflection from my dad, Armand Nocum, on some thoughts after his successful heart angioplasty operation.
I could very well be writing you from the grave this time. No, this is not a Halloween joke.
I nearly died of heart attack two months ago; instead I lived perhaps to complete some unfinished work.
Last August 18, I was found to have five of my heart veins up to 99 percent blocked. Foreseeing an impending heart-attack or fatal stroke, doctors at the Saint Luke’s Medical Center immediately performed angioplasty on me and inserted six stents to open up my blocked veins.
The operation was successful and thanks to the miracles of high-tech medical science, I am recovering fast physically. However, the experience has left me greatly shaken psychologically. All thoughts of power, invincibility and longevity had vanished. Today I am living from day to day, thankful for each sunrise and sunset.
Each day I thank God/Allah for giving me the early warning signs of blocked arteries – in my case shortness of breath – that enabled me to get a heart operation even before a heart attack could have either killed me or permanently damaged me and rendered me less than functional as a person.
Living each “bonus” day not limping, going around in wheelchair or lying like a vegetable in bed, I have strived to live each day in fulfilment of those unfinished business for which God gave me another chance at normal and fully functional life.
Foremost of these is my desire to complete the two-story Kristiyano-Islam (Kris) Peace Library that many of you dear friends helped us build in a known jump-off point of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Barangay Manicahan, Zamboanga City.
Following its completion in April 2009, the Kris library had thus far served hundreds of thousands of school kids who visit the library to read, do research, hold catch-up reading lessons; and have free use of the computers to augment their computer lessons in public schools. Most of the 10 rural schools serviced by the Kris Library can only offer cardboard computers or drawings as aid for basic computer lessons.
However, the Kris library today remains without a restroom. And while we cannot stop the boys from answering nature’s call in the woods behind the library, we fear about the health problems this matter will bring to other kids visiting the library. We also pity the little girls who have to agonize holding forth their bladder to complete hours of research and the walk through miles of rice paddies before finding relief at home.
And as the usefulness of the library grows, we also see the need to finally complete the second floor of the library to provide space for more donated computers which we will be sending to the library in December.
Thus, we are again seeking your help to raise funds and to reach out to generous individuals and corporations who share our dream to show poor children in war-torn and troubled areas in Mindanao that there is hope in education and that they have other options than to lead the life of rebels and terrorists lived by their elders and kin.
You may call 7030040, 3393732, 3538482, 091589779, 09175208013 or email us at [email protected], [email protected] for details about how the donations can be made. Donors may also inquire about our cause in Facebook by typing Books For Guns or A-Book-Saya Group. Donations may also be brought to our office at Dean & Kings Legal PR Firm, Suite 300, Kimvi Building, Maria Orosa Street, Ermita, Manila.
We would also appreciate you emailing this message of appeal to your friends or to post this note to your Facebook profile or your blogs.
Thanks a lot for fulfilling this almost dead man’s wish.
Armand Dean Nocum
Books For Guns/ A-Book-Saya Group