Dead for 17 hours, Bicol boy lives again
By Rhaydz B. Barcia, Correspondent
Legazpi City: To the village of Puro, the big news is not the impending eruption of Mayon Volcano. It is the “resurrection” of 10-year-old Dante “Jun-Jun” Cardel Jr.
Jun-jun was declared dead by doctors at the Philippine General Hospital on June 21. He came back to life after 17 hours, in the middle of his wake.
One day in early June, Jun-Jun began to vomit blood. His parents took him to Tanchuling Hospital in Legazpi. When his condition didn’t improve, they brought him to the PGH in Manila.
Doctors at PGH said there was a tumor in the boy’s head that was in a dangerous stage of growth.
There was little they could do to save him.
On June 21 doctors removed Jun-Jun’s life-support system and declared him dead about 4 p.m.
Dante Cardel, 36, and wife, Sheila, 34, took the body home in a service car provided by the Child Sponsorship for Community Development Inc. (CSCDI), a nongovernmental organization helping poor families in Albay.
“In the van I held my boy’s body in my arms. My husband took over as we were passing through Laguna.”
In Naga City, Dante told Sheila he felt Jun-Jun chest was getting warm but he thought nothing more of it.
The van arrived in Puro about 5 a.m. of June 22. The whole neighborhood turned up for Jun-jun’s sad homecoming.
“It was a painful moment for both of us. I saw the black pants and white T-shirt that hung on the wall—my son’s burial clothes—which the CSCDI had bought for him.”
Tents had been set up at the yard for the wake. Everyone pitched in, arranging tables and chairs, preparing food.
At 8 a.m. Jun-Jun suddenly opened his eyes, hugged his father tight and asked for food. He was alive.
“We cheered and thanked God for bringing my son back to life,” Sheila said.
No one could explain what had happened. The parish priest, Fr. Jose Bañares, said Jun-Jun might still have a mission on earth and advised the family to keep praying and believing in God’s grace and power.
Jun-Jun told The Manila Times he woke up from his long sleep because he was told by Jesus Christ to rise from his father’s arms.
“I was in my father’s arms when I saw Jesus Christ with a beard and long blond hair. He told me to wake up. There were two birds beside him, one black and the other white, flying around jackfruit trees. Jesus looked at me and touched my eyes. When I woke up I looked up at the sky, but I didn’t see him again,” Jun-Jun told The Times.
Jun Jun, who finished Grade 4, is the fourth child and the only boy in the family of seven siblings. “I wanted to become an engineer. Next year I will back to school at Puro Elementary School,” he said.
Fr. Lorenzo de Leon, parochial vicar of Saint Raphael parish here, said the family’s strong belief in God, not a miracle, could have brought Jun-Jun back from the dead.”
“We cannot really say that there was a miracle, but it could be a divine intervention because of their strong belief in God,” Father de Leon said.
19 July 2006
Here is an interesting story from the Philippines as reported in The Manilla Times: